Multinational firms and the extractive sectors in the 21st century: Can they drive development?

Rajneesh Narula

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Historically, extractive sector MNEs have been seen as an obstacle to sustainable development, because they operated in enclaves with limited local engagement. Import-substitution policies aimed to increase the local benefits of these resources, restricting FDI. Since liberalisation, extractive MNEs have re-engaged with developing countries through looser governance structures with greater potential for linkages. Despite the increased potential, few host countries have seen meaningful MNE-led development because of weak domestic firms and poor location advantages. New MNEs from emerging economies have also not shown a greater propensity to local linkages. Only countries that have continued to invest in location advantages have seen substantial benefits
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUNU-MERIT working papers
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2017

JEL classifications

  • f23 - "Multinational Firms; International Business"
  • f63 - Globalization: Economic Development
  • f54 - "Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism"
  • o14 - "Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology"


  • sustainable development
  • MNEs
  • linkages
  • emerging economies
  • extractives,
  • natural resources
  • infrastructure
  • enclaves

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