Transnationals and the Third World: Changing Perceptions

  • Sanjaya Lall


In February 1975 I wrote in the National Westminster Bank Quarterly Review an article entitled, ‘Multinationals and Development: a New Look’. The summary is quoted below:

To sum up, it is the intrinsic nature of the MNC combined with the peculiar socio-economic-political structure of LDCs that produces a pattern of ‘dependence’. Possibly this dependence will lead to industrialization and growth in GNP; certainly it will lead to the benefits being shared extremely unequally, and even to increased misery for the bulk of the populations of developing countries. It would, however, be possible to conceive of MNC investment benefiting the whole population of poor countries if the governments of the latter were capable and desirous of providing a different kind of development. It often happens, unfortunately, that the attitudes of the MNCs and the governments of their home countries work against this: pressures for ‘free enterprise’ and conservative laissez-faire policies are not always in the best interests of the poor. The growing power of MNCs may not augur well for the poor unless governments show a better understanding of the development process.


Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Foreign Investment Local Firm Transfer Price 
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Copyright information

© Sanjaya Lall 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjaya Lall
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Economics and StatisticsUK
  2. 2.Oxford UniversityGreen CollegeUK

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