Slow emergence of multinationals in the CEEC

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Slow emergence of multinationals in the CEEC

The analysis of outward FDI from the future member states of the EU shows that the emergence of transnational groups remains limited in number, concentrated geographically and sectorally, with comparatively small amounts of money at stake on an international scale.*

The CEEC’s outward FDI account for less than 10% of the inward flows and involve only a few countries.

The stock of FDI held abroad by the 10 main applicant countries amounted to 10 bn USD at the end of 2001, compared with more than 120 bn for investments by foreign companies in the region. In terms of GDP, the 400M USD invested abroad by Estonia ranks the country first among the CEEC (5% of its GDP), ahead of Hungary and Slovenia (approximately 4.5%). For international comparison purposes, the stocks of outward FDI stand on average at 5% of GDP for South American countries, 1.4% in Mexico and 2,5% in China and Malaysia.

Geographically, two thirds of these investments flow towards the other countries of the region. In the case of the Czech Republic, Slovakia accounts for about a third of its total FDI stock abroad.

These investments are concentrated in a few sectors, which differ according to the country of origin and are mainly the result of corporate regional strategy.

Services, and particularly commerce and banking, dominate in the Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia. But industry accounts for the majority of flows towards Hungary and Slovenia, the pharmaceutical industry and energy playing a prominent role.

These dynamics, which continued in 2002, are the result of a few players in search of a critical size, their home market being in general narrow. A nonexhaustive list of intra-regional FDI carried out in 2002 is available on


For background information to this analysis (Revue Elargissement No. 40 – 3 March 2003), the relevant tables, or more analyses, see the

enlargement website of DREE.


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