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On Planning for Development: Transnational Corporations and oligopolistic capital
Editor: Róbinson Rojas Sandford
From Forbes - May 2013
The World's Biggest Companies

One world: one gigantic market place. This year, 63 countries have Global 2000 entries vs 51 in our inaugural list in 2004. Forbes Global 2000 are the biggest, most powerful listed companies in the world. Our justification for using a composite ranking is simple: One metric alone can give a false impression about corporate size. Our ranking of the world’s biggest companies departs from lopsided lists based on a single metric, like sales. Instead we use an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value to rank companies according to size.

Published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - UNCTAD

The Universe of the Largest Transnational Corporations  2007

This publication is part of a new series of current studies on FDI and development published by UNCTAD. The series aims to contribute to a better understanding of how transnational corporations (TNCs) and their activities impact on development. The present study quantifies and analyses the past and current trends on the degree of internationalization of the largest TNCs as well as TNCs from developing economies. It aims at stimulating discussion and further research on the subjects addressed.

The study was prepared by J. François Outreville under the overall guidance of Anne Miroux and Hafiz Mirza. Jovan Licina provided research assistance, Katia Vieu provided secretarial assistance and desktop publishing was done by Teresita Ventura.
The text benefited from comments and feedback by Torbjörn Fredriksson, Masataka Fujita, Jeremy Clegg, Kalman Kalotay, Guoyong Liang, Michael Lim, Nicole Moussa, Shin Ohinata and Thomas Pollan.

New York University Law Students for Human Rights
This paper is authored by the Law Students for Human Rights at New York University School of Law. It was prepared at the request of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to inform a multi-stakeholder consultation convening on June 19-20, 2009 in Berlin, Germany on the role of the agribusiness sector in the realization of the right to food

Transnational Corporations and the right to Food
Aaron Bloom, Colleen Duffy, Monica Iyer, Aaron Jacobs;Smith,and Laura Moy - 2009

It is both ironic and tragic that eighty percent of the world’s hungry are food producers. Fifty percent of these are small-hold farmers, twenty percent are farm workers, and ten percent are pastoralists and fishermen. The other twenty percent of the world’s hungry are made up of the urban poor, who are acutely affected by rising food prices. In this context, the Transnational Corporations (“TNCs”) that operate in the food sector are crucially important in the struggle against hunger.
Not only is there a grave power imbalance between TNCs and the small-hold farmers and farm workers who supply them, but these TNCs also directly employ approximately 700 million wage workers, some of whom are among those who have the least access to adequate food.

Over the last 70 years or so, an international capitalist class have been trying to create a world order ruled by oligopolistic capital. U.S. ruling elites have being leading this process. After the collapse of bureaucratic socialism in the 1980s they are implementing a Project for the New American Century which is unleashing, once again, U.S. State Terrorism all over the world. To understand better how the international capitalist class enforces its domination mainly through U.S. State Terrorism, I include here two texts ( Carroll & Carson, and Fraser & Beeston). More reading on this is available below and  at (Dr. Róbinson Rojas - 2003)

W. K. Carroll & C. Carson - 2003
Forging a New Hegemony? The Role of Transnational Policy Groups in the Network and Discourses of Global Corporate Governance

This study situates five top transnational policy-planning groups within the larger structure of corporate power that is constituted through interlocking directorates among the world’s largest companies. Each group makes a distinct contribution toward transnational capitalist hegemony both by building consensus within the global corporate elite and by educating publics and states on the virtues of one or another variant of the neoliberal paradigm.
Analysis of corporate-policy interlocks reveals that a few dozen cosmopolitans —primarily men based in Europe and North America and actively engaged in corporate management— knit the network together via participation in transnational interlocking and/or multiple policy groups.
As a structure underwriting transnational business activism, the network is highly centralized, yet from its core it extends unevenly to corporations and individuals positioned on its fringes.
The policy groups pull the directorates of the world’s major corporations together, and collaterally integrate the lifeworld of the global corporate elite, but they do so selectively, reproducing regional differences in participation. These findings support the claim that a well-integrated global corporate elite has formed, and that global policy groups have contributed to its formation. Whether this elite confirms the arrival of a transnational capitalist class is a matter partly of semantics and partly of substance.

I. Fraser and M. Beeston:
The Brotherhood
"Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past."
(from George Orwell, '1984')

Part 1: Introduction. The Main Manipulating Groups
Part 2: The Main Protagonists
Part 3: Economic Control. Steps Towards a Global Bank
Part 4: Political Control
Part 5: The World Army
Part 6: Population Control
Part 7: Who We Are & Mind Manipulation
Part 8: Further Examples of Manipulation
Part 9: The Pharmaceutical Racket
Part 10: Seeing Beyond the Veil
Global Policy Groups whose membership are the transnational corporate elite
-World Economic Forum
-International Chamber of Commerce
-World Business Council for Sustainable Development
-Bilderberg Conference
-Trilateral Commission
William I. Robinson - 2010
Global Capitalism Theory and the Emergence of Transnational Elites

The class and social structure of developing nations has undergone profound transformation in recent decades as each nation has incorporated into an increasingly integrated global production and financial system. National elites have experienced a new fractionation. Emergent transnationally-oriented elites grounded in globalized circuits of accumulation compete with older nationally-oriented elites grounded in more protected and often state-guided national and regional circuits. This essay focuses on structural analysis of the distinction between these two fractions of the elite and the implications for development. I suggest that nationally-oriented elites are often dependent on the social reproduction of at least a portion of the popular and working classes for the reproduction of their own status, and therefore on local development processes however so defined whereas transnationally-oriented elites are less dependent on such local social reproduction. The shift in dominant power relations from nationally- to transnationally-oriented elites is reflected in a concomitant shift to a discourse from one that defines development as national industrialization and expanded consumption to one that defines it in terms of global market integration.

Elise S. Brezis - 2010
Globalization and the Emergence of a Transnational Oligarchy

The aim of this paper is to examine the evolution of recruitment of elites due to globalization. In the last century, the main change that occurred in the way the Western world trained its elites is that meritocracy became the basis for their recruitment. Although meritocratic selection should result in the best being chosen, we show that meritocratic recruitment may actually lead to class stratification and auto-recruitment. In this paper, I show that due to globalization, the stratification effect will be even stronger. Globalization will bring about the formation of an international technocratic elite with its own culture, norms, ethos, and identity, as well as its private clubs like the Davos World Economic Forum. We face the emergence of a transnational oligarchy.

Jurgen Brauer and Robert Haywood - 2010
Non-state Sovereign Entrepreneurs and Non-territorial Sovereign Organizations

We propose two new concepts, of non-state sovereign entrepreneurs and the non-territorial sovereign organizations they form, and relate them to issues pertaining to state sovereignty, governance failures, and violent social conflict over the appropriation of the powers that accrue to states in modern international law. The concepts deal with the rise of transboundary non-state actors, as they impinge on and aim to supplement or supersede certain powers of state actors. We provide examples to show that non-state sovereign entrepreneurs and their organizations already exist. We are interested in their potential role in conflict transformation. 

T. Nace, September 2003
Gangs of America
The rise of corporate power and the disabling of democracy

Corporations are the dominant force in modern life, surpassing even church and state. The largest are richer than entire nations, and courts have given these entities more rights than people. To many Americans, corporate power seems out of control. According to a Business Week/Harris poll released in September 2000, 82 percent of those surveyed agreed that “business has too much power over too many aspects of our lives.” And the recent revelations of corporate scandal and political influence have only added to such concerns.
complete book

S. Anderson/J. Cavanagh, 2000
Top 200: The Rise of Corporate Global Power

This study examines the economic and political power of the world’s top 200 corporations. Led by General Motors, these are the firms that are driving the process of corporate globalization and arguably benefiting the most from it. The report then examines the extent to which these firms are fulfilling the second half of Charles Wilson’s promise by providing “what’s good for the country” and global society in general. The conclusion of our analysis is that widespread trade and investment liberalization have contributed to a climate in which dominant corporations are enjoying increasing levels of economic and political clout that are out of balance with the tangible benefits they provide to society.
The study reinforces a strong public distrust of the economic and political power of corporations.
In September 2000, Business Week magazine released a Business Week/Harris Poll which showed that between 72 and 82 percent of Americans agree that “Business has gained too much power over too many aspects of American life.”3 In the same poll, 74 percent of Americans agreed with Vice President Al Gore’s criticism of “a wide range of large corporations, including ‘big tobacco, big oil, the big polluters, the pharmaceutical companies, the HMOs.’” And, 74-82 percent agreed that big companies have too much influence over “government policy, politicians, and policy-makers in Washington.”

S. Amin - 2000
The political economy of the Twentieth Century

The twentieth century came to a close in an atmosphere astonishingly reminiscent of that which had presided over its birth—the "belle époque" (and it was beautiful, at least for capital). The bourgeois choir of the European powers, the United States, and Japan (which I will call here "the triad" and which, by 1910, constituted a distinct group) were singing hymns to the glory of their definitive triumph. The working classes of the center were no longer the "dangerous classes" they had been during the nineteenth century and the other peoples of the world were called upon to accept the "civilizing mission" of the West.
The belle époque crowned a century of radical global transformations, marked by the emergence of the first industrial revolution and the formation of the modern bourgeois nation-state. The process spread from the northwestern quarter of Europe and conquered the rest of the continent, the United States, and Japan. The old peripheries of the mercantilist age (Latin America and the British and Dutch East Indies) were excluded from the dual revolution, while the old states of Asia (China, the Ottoman sultanate, and Persia) were being integrated as peripheries within the new globalization.

Largest Transnational Corporations
UNCTAD ranks the largest non-financial TNCs by their foreign assets and presents data on assets, sales and employment in three separate lists: the 100 largest worldwide, the largest 100 from developing countries, and the largest 10 from the economies in transition of Eastern Europe and the CIS.
Financial firms are included in a separate list, the 50 largest worldwide, because of the different economic functions of assets of financial firms and the non-availability of relevant data on sales and employment. UNCTAD ranks the firms according to a Spread Index which takes into account the number of foreign affiliates and the number of host countries.
The same ranking, together with an analysis of the relevance of these TNCs in the world economy, is included in the various issues of the World Investment Report.
World Investment Report
(the complete series)

Chen Chunlai - 1997
Provincial characteristics and foreign direct investment location decision within China
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most dramatic features of China’s move from a planned economy toward a market economy. Since the passing in late 1979 of the Equity Joint Venture Law which granted legal status to FDI in Chinese territory, China has gradually liberalised its FDI regime, and an institutional framework has been developed to regulate and facilitate such investments. The liberalisation of the FDI regime and the improved investment environment have greatly increased the confidence of foreign investors in China. Consequently, FDI inflows into China increased rapidly after 1979, and particularly during the early 1990s. The total accumulated amount of FDI at current prices rose from the initial US$0.109 billion in 1979 to reach US$133.19 billion in 1995, at an annual growth rate of 55.93 percent.

Chen Chunlai - 1997
The location determinant of Foreign Direct Investment in developing countries
However, China is large, and large countries normally receive a large amount of FDI inflows. Has China really received more FDI inflows from the world than it should have, based on its economic and geographical characteristics? To answer this question we have to investigate the location determinants affecting FDI inflows into developing countries and establish an empirical norm of the magnitude of aggregate FDI inflows from all source countries into a developing host country. Against the empirical norm, we can investigate the relative performance of China and other developing countries in attracting FDI and say whether or not China has attracted more FDI inflows than its potential.
Therefore, this paper is designed to investigate and answer two key questions. First, what are the location determinants affecting FDI inflows into developing countries? Second, what is the relative performance of China in attracting FDI inflows as compared with other developing countries in general and as compared with its neighbouring Asian countries in particular?

Chen Chunlai - 1997
Comparison of investment behaviour of source countries in China
Since China launched the economic reforms and called for direct foreign capital participation in boosting its economic growth and upgrading its overall production technology, China has become one of the world most important countries to host foreign direct investment (FDI). On the one hand, FDI inflows into China increased rapidly after 1979, and particularly during the early 1990s. On the other hand, more than 100 countries have invested in China. As a result, since 1993 China has become the second largest FDI recipient in the world (following the United States) and the single largest host country among the developing countries (United Nations, 1995, p. 54). However, what is the composition of the source countries of FDI in China? Do the source countries differ in their investment behaviour? This paper will discuss and answer these questions.

FORBES 2000: The World's Leading Companies
The Global 500
World's Richest People
400 Richest Americans
All FORBES lists
Mark Herkenrath & Volker Bornschier - 2003
Transnational Corporations in World Development – Still the Same Harmful Effects in an Increasingly Globalized World Economy?
During the last decades of the 20th century the world has experienced an impressive increase in the amount and relative importance of bordercrossing economic interlinkages. Transnational corporations (TNCs) whose organizational structures transcend polities and connect various national societies have been playing a leading role in this process. The TNC system has grown substantially and gained historically unprecedented power in the political worldeconomy (UNCTAD 2000: Overview). The old question of how transnational corporations affect economic and social development in their host countries thus arises with renewed relevance.
The findings of previous research result in a quite bleak picture. Although standard economic theory argues transnational fi rms to be important catalysts of development and worldwide convergence, numerous cross-national studies on data from the late 1960s and early 1970s support the opposite view of dependencia and world-system theorists. Th ey all show that TNC affi liates rather add to inequality and underdevelopment than to socio-economic progress in their host countries...

Citizen portal on brands and corporations
E. Kolodner - 1994, UNRISD
Transnational Corporations: Impediments or Catalysts of Social Development?

Although the impact of the operation of transnational enterprises has long been the subject of much discussion and controversy, this debate has witnessed a qualitative change over the past 5 to 10 years. The fall of the Soviet empire, the decline of social welfare programmes in some European states, and the predominance of a free market ideology have all tilted this debate in favour of transnational corporations. Furthermore, the increasing mobility of capital as well as the growth of international and bilateral trade agreements have expanded the powers and privileges of these multinational entities, while minimizing their social responsibilities. This changing environment is particularly notable in many developing countries where governments, once extremely suspicious of foreign corporations, are now exerting efforts to attract TNC investment.
Despite this shift in thinking and policy, there still exists substantial disagreement regarding the extent to which transnational corporate activity promotes positive social development. On the one hand, proponents for TNCs argue that these entities advance social goals by providing jobs, paying taxes used for social programmes, building an industrial base, earning foreign exchange, transferring technology, raising living standards and contributing to charitable causes. On the other hand, advocates of enhanced corporate responsibility note that TNCs have been linked to interference in sovereign affairs, continued disparities in wealth, poor workplace conditions, corruption, transfer pricing policies, and a "downward harmonization" of labour, consumer and environmental standards.

The ILO Programme on Multinational Enterprises and social policy
The Multinational Enterprises Programme (MULTI) is responsible for the promotion and follow-up of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).
The aims of the Declaration are to encourage the positive contributions of MNEs to economic and social progress, and to minimize and resolve the difficulties to which their operatonis may give rise.
In addition to the activities related to the MNE Declaration, MULTI is also responsible for ILO’s participation in the UN Global Compact and for coordinating ILO’s work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Róbinson Rojas on:
- Transnational corporations and developing countries
- 1998
"Transnational corporations as engines of growth" have been the main tenet of every theory of international business since the early 1950s. By the late 1960s, when nationalist political movements were sweeping Latin America, Asia, and Africa, the U.S. government organized a special devise for protecting its own "engines of growth" operating in developing countries: the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
It was the legalisation of a triple alliance: U.S. TNCs, government and army.
OPIC was established by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1969 as a succesor to the Agency for International Development (AID) investment guarantee program for U.S. corporations operating in developing countries. Its purpose was to insure U.S. investment capital "against losses from certain specific political risks" including "loss of investment due to expropriation, nationalization, or confiscation by the foreign government". (taken from J. Petras and M.Morley, "The United States and Chile: Imperialism and the Overthrow of the Allende Government", Monthly Review Press, 1975).

- International capital and intellectual dishonesty - 1999
The basic rationale of what loosely is quoted or misquoted as "export- led growth" has its foundation on the ideological position that capitalist market always clears, and therefore delivers goods and services as needed by those members of society who can buy them.
The old triple alliance between the state, domestic monopolic capital and foreign capital was changed to a double alliance (domestic monopolic capital and foreign capital) with a political warden (the state) making sure that the domestic market was firmly in the hands of the double alliance.
In a more sophisticated fashion, the intellectuals employed/hired by the World Bank did put together, in 1991, the following conceptualization:...

- The poverty of international trade theory
- 1998
Since David Ricardo's "Economic Principles" were published in 1817, international trade theory has been based on his main tenets, even when "fine tuned" by Heckschen, Ohlin and Samuelson (trying to build a neo-classical framework for the theory), Leontieff and Vernon (attempting the introduction of the concept of technology), and Krugman (oligopoly theory). By and large, with fine tuning and all, still the three basic assumptions of the classical trade theory are the main conceptual structure of the model. That is, capital flows, technology transfer and labour migration are excluded from the model.
From above:
A.- factor immobility within the borders of a nation-state is the most crucial assumption of the model;
B.- comparative advantage is determinated before hand, that is before the opening of an economy to trade, according to the static comparative approach, dividing economies into capital-abundant and labour-abundant.

- Notes on the philosophy of the capitalist system - 1999
The world economy today is a multidimensional system within which factors of production ( capital and labour ) move according to decisions that are made by transnational agents ( transnational corporations ) operating in oligopolistic markets.
Trade flows, capital movements, inward and outward foreign direct investment, technology flows, and labour movements are all regulated by transnational agents operating in oligopolistic markets.
The world economy joins industrialized societies and less developed societies in a web built by the main agents dominating these oligopolistic markets where in less developed societies the relationships between EXTERNAL and INTERNAL FORCES form a COMPLEX WHOLE whose structural links are not based on mere external forms of exploitation and coercion, but are rooted in coincidences of interests between local dominant classes and international ones, and, on the other side, are challenged by local dominated groups and classes ( see Cardoso and Faletto, "Dependency and Development in Latin America", and Rojas, "Latin America: Blockages to Development").

- The 'adjustment' of the world economy - 1997
The 'structural adjustment' of today's world economy, like in earlier periods, is an interactive process between firms, markets and states. The process, like in earlier periods, entails that the political establishment serves the economic establishment, and the economic establishment serves the most powerful capitals, the latter being, in the second half of the twentieth century, what in general terms is defined as 'transnational corporations'.
Both nationally and internationally, markets are dominated by groups of transnational corporations, the latter creating an economic environment where perfect competition does not exist, and, because of that, in many aspects accumulation of capital becomes contradictory with accumulation of social welfare and also contradictory with sustainable economic development.

- The transnational corporate system in the late 1990s - 1997
Transnational direct investment in less developed societies in the 1990s is consolidating further the historical regional spheres of influence by the former colonial powers.
By and large, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are becoming more than ever "spheres of control of production and trade" by the financial and industrial centers of the world.
Globalization is a task undertaken by the transnational corporate system, and the system has three clear centers (United States, Japan, and the major economies of the European Union). Those centers attract almost totally the flows of international payment to factors of production, creating a financial situation where capital flows from poor societies to rich societies, as it was in the times of colonization and imperial expansion from the 1500s to the 1930s.
The other main characteristic of the transnational corporate system during the 1990s was the speeding up of "mergers and acquisitions" which is one indicator of concentration of capital.

- South Korea, Taiwan and the myth of the "East Asian miracle" - 1996
The notion of "guided capitalism" was put forward by scholars studying the post 1945 processes of industrialization in three societies: Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The three cases had in common a "singularity", which was
-special access to United States' domestic market,
-heavy protectionist economic policies accepted by transnational corporations,
-special flows of grants and aid from the United States,
-special flows of aid in food from the United States when land reform was in progress, and
-special military treaties, which boosted sectors of the domestic economies in the three societies.
The above five components of this singularity made possible an economic system which was accurately described as a "close liaison between government and business, in which the government picked industrial winners, promoted them with cheap bank loans, and pushed them down the path of exporting, transformed Korea into an industrial powerhouse". (Financial Times, Nov. 7, 1995)... or,...

- A market-friendly strategy for development - 1998
Since the mid-1970s in the case of Chile and the early 1980s in the case of the rest of the countries in the region, Latin America have been applying "a market-friendly strategy for development" (see R. Rojas, International capital and intellectual dishonesty). The model, being based on what I call "free-market fundamentalism", will develop very well defined features, which will affect one factor of production (labour) in several negative ways while it will give the other factor of production (capital) the opportunity to become stronger, and more efficient. (The effects on the pattern of production, mainly leading to a fractured and dependent capitalist economy, are described in R. Rojas: 15 years of monetarism in Latin America: time to scream ). The African side of the "market-friendly strategy for development" is in S. Rasheed/E. Chole: Human development: an African perspective and U. N.: Survey of Economic and Social conditions in Africa, 1995.

- Notes on agribusiness in the 1990s - 1998
...The above describes the triple alliance between transnational corporations, domestic big capital and the state, which makes huge profits from natural resources-intensive production, depleting them at the highest possible rate of profits. This type of business is called agribusiness. One of the transnational corporation involved in the Indonesian fires was Cargill, Inc.
Cargill, Inc is the largest privately owned U.S. corporation. The company operates in forty countries and has about 150 affiliates and subsidiaries. Its business interests go from machinery factories in the U.S. to soybeans in Brazil. Cargill's sister company is called Tradax, with headquarters in Geneva. It owns grain elevators and storage facilities, arranges regional financing with foreign banks, employs a large number of sales agents, operates its own shipping network, and deals heavily in buying and selling foreign currencies. In the 1980s, Cargill was Argentina's leading exporter of wheat, barley, maize and other grains...and the leading exporter of grain in France.

- Notes on transnational corporations and the U.N.U.'s course on transnational corporations
--1. The growth and patterns of international production
--2. The current role of TNCs in the world economy
--3. The determinants of TNC activity
--4. Empirical testing of theories of international production
--5. Assessing the international market
--6. The impact of TNCs on development
--7. TNCs and the balance of payments
--8. TNCs and employment
--9. TNCs and the nation-state
10. TNCs and economic integration
11. TNCs in manufacturing activities
12. TNCs in the service sector
13. The spread of third world TNCs
14. Reactions to TNCs: national policies
15. Reactions to TNCs: multilateral
16. The future of TNCs
17. Bibliography

  A bibliography for transnational corporations studies
Foreign Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1998 Report


Full 1998 Report (746 Kb pdf format) 


I. REGIONAL OVERVIEW (732 Kb)    (Includes Abstract, Foreword, Summary and Introduction) 

1. The overall situation
2. The situation in Latin America and the Caribbean 
3. FDI modalities
4. Major transnational corporations in the region
5. Conclusions and prospects for 1998

1. Mexico
2. Argentina 
3. Colombia
4. Chile
5. Venezuela
6. Peru

1. Chilean investments in other countries
2. Investment by the member countries of Mercosur
3. Mexican investment abroad


1. The debt crisis: Brazil’s gradual decline as an FDI destination
2. Brazil recovers its position as the preferred destination for international investors
3. The new FDI patterns in the second half of the1990s

1. The new economic environment and the reaction of transnational corporations present in Brazil
2. Deregulation and privatizations: new openings for foreign investors
3. Market size: the most long-standing advantage of the Brazilian market

1. Transnational corporations and the balance of payments
2. Transnational corporations and exports




1. United States foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1990s

1. The production of motor vehicles in Latin America: an improved competitive position within NAFTA and access to Mercosur
2. Assembly of manufactures in Mexico and the Caribbean Basin
3. Services and natural resources: a new frontier for United States investors 



1. Technological change in the automotive industry 
2. Competition in the main markets
3. Competitive advantages and repercussions of the "Toyota System"

1. Mexico: consolidation of a continental automotive industry under NAFTA
2. Argentina and Brazil: differing views of the automotive industry under Mercosur



Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2002
World Investment Report
FDI Statistics Online
Country Fact Sheets
documents and papers
UNCTAD: World Investment Report 1998: Trends and Determinants(press)
UNCTAD: World Investment Report 1999:FDI and the challenge of development
UNCTAD: The largest transnational corporations and corporate strategies. 1999
U.S. Largest 500 Corporations
The World's Largest 500 Corporations
Ewe-Ghee, Determinants of, and the relation between, foreign direct investment and growth, 2001
Corporate Watch:
How to research transnational corporations
Corporate Watch UK: "The Earth is not dying, is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses"
ELDIS: Transnational corporations
Multinational Monitor
M. Butler - 1986
How Europe can fight the multinationals
I have heard respectable people argue that it does not matter if European high technology companies are taken over one after the other by American or Japanese multinationals. If the market so decrees let no man intervene!
This needs to be thought through. The multinationals are in Europe TO PROMOTE THEIR PARENT COMPANIES' strategy for gaining world market share and MAXIMISING THEIR LONG-TERM PROFITS. As part of that strategy they may do some manufacturing in Europe and even some research. BUT THEIR POLICY IS DECIDED IN THEIR HEADQUARTERS AND THE MAJORITY OF THEIR PROFITS FLOW THERE. Once they have knocked out or taken over the European competition, they are free to shift the balance of their investment in plant and research towards home OR TO OTHER MARKETS YET TO BE CONQUERED.

D.Caverhill - 1994
TNCs and the world economy.1994
The expansion of Transnational Corporations since the 1950s has been the major growth area of the world economy, measured against indicators including exports, Gross National Product, and world trade movements. There has been no economic organization in post-industrial society that has grown as quickly.
Transnational corporations affect and change almost every element of economic, social and political life in the areas where they operate. While the largest amounts of foreign direct investment by transnationals are currently made within developed countries, history has shown that TNCs go anywhere their strategic objectives can be met according to a carefully considered cost/benefit/risk analysis.

Staying Alive [Labour in the global information economy]
Transnational Corporate Research ***
EcoForum: The Multilateral Agreement on Investment
From Global Policy Forum
General Articles on Transnational Corporations
Who controls the brave new globalized world? States or Transnational Corporations (TNCs)? This page keeps track of the argument: how much power do TNCs have? What are the areas where they exercise their power? And, most importantly, how can citizens gain democratic control over these institutions?
Transnational Institute
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observer (1999)
TNC control over Global Trade Politics
Investment Watch
OECD.- Multilateral Agreement in Investment:
Documentation from the negotiations
WHA: Transnational corporations
1.  The World Bank's environmental record
2.  Structural adjustment: banking on poverty
3.  Transnational corporations: the record [1]
4.  Transnational corporations: the record [2]
5.  Transnational corporations: the record [3]
6.  Forum on labour in the global economy
7.  Focus: women and multinationals
8.  Globalization, agricultural employment and food security
9.  Reconciling trade and the environment
10. Concepts and principles of international law
11. Trade and sustainable development
12. Shaping the environmental agenda of the 21st century
13. FAO - Agreement on Agriculture, December 1993
14. Industrial development global report 1995
P. De Grauwe (University of Leuven and Belgian Senate) and
F. Camerman (Belgian Senate) - 2002

How big are the big multinational companies

Multinational corporations are increasingly seen as excessively big and powerful, and as having dramatically increased in size and power. This perception has led to the view that the big corporations are threatening democratic institutions of the nation-states and that they pervert the cultural and social fabric of countries. In this paper we analyse the size of large corporations and the recent trends in this size. Using value-added data (instead of sales) we find that multinationals are surprisingly small compared to the GDP of many nation-states. In addition, if anything, the size of multinationals relative to the size of nations has tended to decline somewhat during the last 20 years. Finally, we argue that there is little evidence that the economic and political power of multinationals has increased in the last few decades.

United Nations Organization - 1 May 1974
"The General Assembly
Adopts the following Declaration:
Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order

We, the Members of the United Nations,
Having convened a special session of the General Assembly to study for the first time the problems of raw materials and development, devoted to the consideration of the most important economic problems facing the world community,
Bearing in mind the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations to promote the economic advancement and social progress of all peoples,
Solemnly proclaim our united determination to work urgently for THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORDER based on equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and cooperation among all States, irrespective of their economic and social systems which shall correct inequalities and redress existing injustices, make it possible to eliminate the widening gap between the developed and the developing countries and ensure steadily accelerating economic and social development and peace and justice for present and future generations, and, to that end, declare:
1. The greatest and most significant achievement during the last decades has been the independence from colonial and alien domination of a large number of peoples and nations which has enabled them to become members of the community of free peoples. Technological progress has also been made in all spheres of economic activities in the last three decades, thus providing a solid potential for improving the well-being of all peoples. However, the remaining vestiges of alien and colonial domination, foreign occupation, racial discrimination, apartheid and neo-colonialism in all its forms continue to be among the greatest obstacles to the full emancipation and progress of the developing countries and all the peoples involved. The benefits of technological progress are not shared equitably by all members of the international community. The developing countries, which constitute 70 per cent of the world's population, account for only 30 per cent of the worlds income. It has proved impossible to achieve an even and balanced development of the international community under the existing international economic order. The gap between the developed and the developing countries continues to widen in a system which was established at a time when most of the developing countries did not even exist as independent States and which perpetuates inequality...

Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights,
U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/12/Rev.2 (2003).

On integrated international production
Table 1: Foreign-direct-investment inward flows, by region and economy, 1981-1991
Table 2: Foreign-direct-investment inward and outward stock, 1980, 1985 and 1990
Table 3: The ratio of foreign-direct-investment inflows to gross domestic capital formation and the ratio of gross domestic capital formation to gross domestic product, 1971-1975, 1976-1980, 1981-1985, 1986-1991
Table 4: Average annual inflows of foreign direct investment to the Ten largest developing economies, 1970-1980, 1981-1991
Table 5: New bilateral treaties for the promotion and protection of foreign direct investment signed or entered into force in 1991 and 1992
Table 6: Changes in main national legislation relating to foreign direct investment in 1992
Table I.10: The largest 100 non-financial transnational corporations, ranked by foreign assets, 1990
Select list of publications of the UNCTAD Programme on Transnational Corporations

From World Investment Report 2002:
Transnational Corporations and Exports Competitiveness
Chapter V
International Production System
A. Drivers and features
B. Case studies
C. Conclusions
TNC activities affect the export performance of host countries through a range of equity and non-equity relationships. What is common to all of them is that production -and, more broadly, the operations of a firm- is organized under the common governance of TNCs...In other words, global markets increasingly involve competition between entire production systems, orchestrated by TNCs, rather than between individual factories or firms"
While the growth of international production systems is well recognized, it is less well known that there is a growing tendency for firms, even large TNCs, to specialize more narrowly and to contract out more and more functions to independent firms, spreading them internationally, to take advantage of differences in costs and logistics. Some are even opting out of production altogether, leaving contract manufacturers to handle it while they focus on innovation and marketing. The main suppliers and contract manufacturers are themselves often large TNCs, with global “footprints” matching those of their principals and with their own subcontractors and suppliers. However, TNCs also increasingly use national suppliers and contractors in host economies. Specialization does not stop here: leading TNCs are also entering into joint innovation arrangements with other firms – competitors, suppliers or buyers – and with institutions such as research laboratories, universities and so on. Thus, the emerging global production system is becoming more multifaceted , but with tighter coordination by lead players in each international production system.

O. Sunkel, 1985
The transnational corporate system
There are some crucial questions relating to the TNC which one cannot begin to understand, much less to answer, if one does not have a more realistic picture of contemporary capitalism. The so-called market has in fact been superseded to a significant degree by public and private planning. To a very large extent, the visible hands of the State and the TNC have long replaced the mythical invisible hand of laissez-faire capitalism, if it ever existed. It is not really the individual institution of the TNC as such that is the object of so much attention. There have been individual instances of large world-wide business organizations in the past which have not aroused such great concern. The focus is rather on the emergence of a transnational business system with such a great potential for socially uncontrolled power and influence that international society finds itself forced into a profound reorganization in order to accommodate it.

UNCTAD: World Investment Reports:
2005 - TNCs and the internationalization of R&D
2004 - The shift towards services
2003 - FDI Policies for Development: Ntl. and Intl. Perspectives
2002 - TNCs and Export Competitiveness
2001 - Promoting Linkages
2000 - Cross-border M & A and Development
1999 - FDI and the Challenge of Development
1998 - Trends and Determinants
1997 - TNCs, Market Structure and Competition Policy
1996 - Investment, Trade and International Policy Agreements
1995 - TNCs and Competitiveness
1994 - TNCs, Employment and the Workplace
1993 - TNCs and Integrated International Production
1992 - TNCs as Engines of Growth
1991 - The Triad In Foreign Direct Investment


The Triad (E.U., U.S.A, and Japan) in Foreign Direct Investment
UNCTAD: World Development Investment 1991
Table of contents

Chapter I
Global Trends
A. The increasing importance of foreign direct investment
B. Regional distribution
C. Sectoral patterns of foreign direct investment
D. Policies affecting foreign direct investment

Chapter II
Patterns of foreign direct investment in the Triad
A. The Triad members
B. Intra-Triad investment relationships
C. Regional networks of Japanese trasnational corporations
D. The Triad, developing the Central and Eastern European Countries

Chapter III
A. Foreign direct investment and international trade
B. Transnational corporations and technology transfer
C. Transnational corporations and financial flows
D. The integrating agents: transnational corporations

Chapter IV
Policy Implications
A. The growing role of foreign direct investment in the world economy
B. The issue of governance
C. Policy implications for improving investment flows to developing countries

Indicators of the significance of foreign affiliates in selected host economies, mid- to late 1980s.
Selected UNCTAD publications on Transnational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment

London - 4 April 2006
World's biggest 25 food companies not taking health seriously enough
The world’s top 25 food companies appear not to be taking the new global diet and health agenda seriously enough, says an 80 page report from The City University out today.
Researchers at City’s Centre for Food Policy studied the annual reports, accounts and HQ websites (to Autumn 2005) of the top 10 food manufacturers, top 10 food retailers and top 5 foodservice companies (top 3 fast food and top 2 contract caterers).They were rated for whether the companies were doing anything about the health agenda agreed by the world’s governments at the World Health Organisation.
In May 2004, a Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health was passed by the World Health Assembly (the WHO’s governing body). This made recommendations to companies as to what they could do to health tackle the world’s diet crisis – not just obesity but heart disease, cancers and diabetes.
IMF: International Capital Flows, 2001
Foreign Policy IN FOCUS
Drug Control
Human Rights
U.S. Agencies
Financial Flows
Food and Farm
Global Governance
CorpWatch: Holding Corporations Accountable
CorpWatch: Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN
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On power elites and development:

Aligning Elites with Development

TNCs and Oligopolistic Capital

On Elites and Decentralization and Privatization

Integrated International System of Production and Power Elites

Global Value Chains, Outsourcing and Global Production Networks

On Transfer-pricing
- Notes for lectures
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- International Division of

- Transnational Corporations
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Portal de información sobre las empresas y las marcas
CEPAL: La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe, 1997
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CEPAL: La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe, 1999
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Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe
Inversiones Extranjeras Directas
Hojas Informativas por País
Foreign Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2005
La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe 2005
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2004
Documento informativo Investimento estrangeiro na América Latina e no Caribe 2004
La Inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe 2004
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2003 Report
La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe 2003
Foreign Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2003
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2002 Report
La Inversión Extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe - Informe 2002
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2001 Report
La Inversión Extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe. Informe 2001
Foreign Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2000 Report
La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe. Informe 2000
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 1999 Report
La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe. Informe 1999
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 1998 Report
La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe. Informe 1998
Foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. 1997 Report
La inversión extranjera en América Latina y el Caribe. Informe 1997

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