Foreign direct investment in the European Union after the global financial and economic crisis
Aristidis Bitzenis & Vasileios Vlachos
Several (if not most) countries have not fully recovered from the devastating consequences of the recent multifaceted global crisis, which emerged as a subprime mortgage – and an energy (oil shock of 2007-2008) – crisis that was triggered in 2007 and gradually developed into a financial, sovereign debt and eventually, an economic crisis without precedent in post-war economic history. Data until 2015 (2014 for foreign direct investment – FDI) reveal that economic recovery in the West is still very fragile. While the United States (where the crisis commenced) and most European countries (where the crisis impacted the most) have recovered in terms of GDP and inward FDI, only two countries from the European Union (EU) have recovered in terms of employment and similarly, only seven EU countries have surpassed the amount of fixed investment (gross fixed capital formation) that was reported before they were hit by the crisis. The United States have also not recovered in terms of employment and fixed investment.
The fragile economic recovery following the global financial and economic crisis, and the climaxing refugee and migrant crisis, are an example of the issues that endanger stability in the EU. However, it is persistently poor performance in economic indicators such as unemployment rates that give rise to Euroscepticism and jeopardize coherence and growth of the EU.
The experience of economic adjustment in the Eurozone (and the EU) with regard to the limited potential for public investment expenditure and the emphasis on improving competiveness, indicates the critical role of FDI. Within the particular framework, policy officials should improve the conditions favoring the factors that determine inward FDI and the reinvestment rate with the purpose of keeping as much of the rents as possible on FDI in the domestic economy and improve the absorptive capacity in order to improve competitiveness, innovation and productivity. The abovementioned describe the focus of this special issue on the factors attracting FDI and its impact on the host and home EU countries in the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis. The aim is to attract papers that research the phenomenon and to present the experience of emerging vis-à-vis developed EU economies.
More specifically, the special issue is focused on – but not limited to –research in the following topics:
· The changing geography of FDI in the EU after the crisis with emphasis on flows, concentration and impact.
· The role of FDI in the relationships between the former communist bloc of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Asia with the EU, after the crisis.
· The contribution of FDI in the economic, political and social transformation of EU members and candidates of the former communist bloc of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, after the crisis.
· Political risk, national culture (e.g. formal/informal institutional environment) and foreign direct investment in the EU.
· Revisiting FDI and home/host EU countries economic growth and/or economic development (e.g. social impact of FDI).
· The impact of FDI on home/host EU countries competitiveness vis-à-vis international trade or outsourcing.
· Determinants and motives of FDI in the EU.
· Barriers and obstacles to FDI in the EU.
It is desirable that the above topics will be addressed from a comparative perspective, i.e. across time (before and after the crisis) and/or between economies and sectors of economic activity.
Submissions deadline: 30 June 2017
References and further reading
Bitzenis, A. and Vlachos, V.A. (2016). Foreign direct investment in the light of the recent crisis. Global Business and Economics Review, 18 (2): 115-123.
Bitzenis, A., Vlachos, V.A. and Papadimitriou, P. (2012). Mergers and Acquisitions as the Pillar of FDI. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Eurostat: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database. Eurostat data on Gross Domestic Product at market prices and Gross Fixed Capital Formation (chain linked volumes, index 2005=100) and unemployment rates (unadjusted) extracted on 15.05.2016.
OECD: http://stats.oecd.org/. OECD data on United States Gross Domestic Product and Gross Fixed Capital Formation (constant prices, 2010 base year) extracted on 15.05.2016.
UNCTAD: http://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx. UNCTAD data on Foreign Direct Investment at current prices (inward stock) extracted on 15.05.2016.
UNCTAD (2013). World Investment Report 2013: Global Value-Chains: Investment and Trade for Development. New York and Geneva: United Nations. Available online at http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/wir2013_en.pdf.
UNCTAD Policy Brief No. 3, April 2012. Sovereign Debt Crisis: From Relief to Resolution. Available online at http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/uxiiipb2012d3_en.pdf.
UNCTAD Policy Brief No. 5, June 2012. Breaking the cycle of exclusion and crisis. Available online at http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/uxiiipb2012d5_en.pdf.