The studies presented in this volume elaborate key issues related to the globalization of research and development and its implications for developing countries. Firms establish such operations in developing locations with the aim of accessing the skills of the host economies, adapting products to local markets and reducing their costs, in response to competitive pressures, technological changes and a more liberal trade and investment environment. The studies in this volume explore the implications of the recent rise of a number of developing economies as locations of important foreign direct investment projects in research and development. The issues addressed include the use of foreign direct investment versus contractual channels in acquiring innovative capacities in developing countries, the potential links of transnational corporations´ research and development activities with the local innovation system of host countries, the likelihood of research and development spreading to new developing locations, and the kinds of host country policies that can facilitate diffusion of technologies from foreign affiliates activities to the local economy.
This publication is a collection of the written submissions presented by scholars and experts at an UNCTAD Expert Meeting on FDI in Research and Development held in January 2005. The overview chapter is based on a note prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat for that meeting. The Chairperson´s summary of the discussion at the Expert Meeting is also included, reflecting the diversified views expressed by scholars and experts from Governments. Despite divergences in views, there was general agreement among scholars and experts that active policies by governments could play a leading role in creating and facilitating the right conditions to attract and benefit from foreign direct investment in research and development.