Multinational enterprise strategy, foreign direct investment and economic development: the case of the Hungarian banking industry

Akbar, Yusaf H.; McBride, J. Brad
February 2004
Journal of World Business;Feb2004, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p89
Academic Journal
This paper examines foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Hungarian economy in the period of post-Communist transition since 1989. Hungary took a quite aggressive approach in welcoming foreign investment during this period and as a result had the highest per capita FDI in the region as of 2001. We discuss the impact of FDI in terms of strategic intent, i.e., market serving and resource seeking FDI. The effect of these two kinds of FDI is contrasted by examining the impact of resource seeking FDI in manufacturing sectors and market serving FDI in service industries. In the case of transition economies, we argue that due to the strategic intent, resource seeking FDI can imply a short-term impact on economic development whereas market serving FDI strategically implies a long-term presence with increased benefits for the economic development of a transition economy. Our focus is that of market serving FDI in the Hungarian banking sector, which has brought improved service and products to multinational and Hungarian firms. This has been accompanied by the introduction of innovative financial products to the Hungarian consumer, in particular consumer credit including mortgage financing. However, the latter remains an underserved segment with much growth potential. For public policy in Hungary and other transition economies, we conclude that policymakers should consider the strategic intent of FDI in order to maximize its benefits in their economies.


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