Foreign direct investment has a major role to play in the economic development of the host country. Over the years, foreign direct investment has helped the economies of the host countries to obtain a launching pad from where they can make further improvements.
This trend has manifested itself in the last twenty years. Any form of foreign direct investment pumps in a lot of capital knowledge and technological resources into the economy of a country.
This helps in taking the particular host economy ahead. The fact that the foreign direct investors have been able to play an important role vis-a-vis the economic development of the recipient countries has been due to the fact that these countries have changed their economic stances and have allowed the foreign direct investors to come in and improve their economies.
It has often been observed that the economically developing as well as underdeveloped countries are dependent on the economically developed countries for financial assistance that would help them to achieve some amount of economical stability. The economically developed countries, on their part, can help these countries financially by investing in these countries. This financial assistance can be channelized into various sectors of the economy. The channelization is normally done on the basis of the requirements of particular sectors.
It has been observed that the foreign direct investment has been able to improve the infrastructural condition of a country. There is ample scope of technological development of a country as well. The standard of living of the general public of the host country could be improved as a result of the foreign direct investment made in a country. The health sector of many a recipient country has been benefited by the foreign direct investment. Thus it may be said that foreign direct investment plays an important role in the overall economic and social development of a country.
It has been observed that the private sector companies are not always interested in undertaking activities that help in improving the infrastructure of the country. This is because the gains form these infrastructural activities are made only in the long term; there are no short term benefits as such. This is where the foreign direct investment can come in handy. It can also assist in helping economically underdeveloped countries build their own research and development bases that can contribute to the technological development of the country. This is a very crucial contribution as most of these countries are not able to perform these functions on their own. These assistances come in handy, especially in the context of the manufacturing and services sector of the particular country, that are able to enhance their productivity and ultimately advance from an economic point of view.
At times foreign direct investment could be provided in form of technology. Else, the money that comes in a country through the foreign direct investment can be utilized to buy or import technology from other countries. This is an indirect way in which foreign direct investment plays an important part in the context of economic development. Foreign direct investment can also be helpful in assisting the host countries to set up mass educational programs that help them to educate the disadvantaged sections of the society. Such assistance is often provided by the non-governmental organizations in the form of subsidies. The developing countries can also tackle a number of healthcare issues with the help of the foreign direct investment.
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Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom from 1992 to 2007. Prime Minister of the UK between 2007 and 2010. Inaugural 'Distinguished Leader in Residence' at New York University. Advisor at World Economic Forum
Andrea Edwards has worked in marketing and communications all over the globe for 20 years, and is now focused on her passion – writing. A gifted communicator, strategist, writer and avid blogger, Andrea is Managing Director of SAJE, a digital communications agency, and The Writers Shop – a regional collaboration between the best business writers in Asia Pacific
James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University. Director of Program in International Finance and Macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research.