FDI and Multinational Networks in the Balkan Region: the Case of the Automotive Industry

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2015)


Balkans, Eastern Europe, FDI


Enlargement towards Southern European countries and, among them, Western Balkans, open the door to the development of new specializations through networking, industrial cooperation between firms from EU-15 countries, New (and Future) Member States as it as been the case in the precedent waves of new memberships to the EU. Integrating these economies rise the question of their industrial legacy inherited from their former economic systems, on the one hand, of the reforms undertaken to adjust to the new market environment, to create a new institutional and market environment on the other. Among the different States, in order to investigate the impact of industrial cooperation in the automobile industry, we will focus on Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.

The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of FDI in the car industry sector in South East European economies (SEEs). As in Central and East European and Baltic economies (CEEB), FDI, along with institutional reforms, industrial restructuring have made room for the entry of foreign capital in the region in SEEs economies although that they where “late comers” and that CEEB countries had a much higher attractiveness level to FDI considering its industrial specialization, proximity factor, speed in the transition transformation to market economies, compliance for becoming a future member state.
So the questions we address in this paper are the following:
- Do SEESs economies have been able to fill the gap with NMS 8 in terms of institutional reforms, industrial restructuring in order to adjust to the EU membership requirements?
- Do SEEs have developed their existing competitive advantages to attract FDI and to specialise into the regional value chain through networking and linkages with major Western (mostly EU) companies?
- has the contribution of different actors participated to reshape the regional industrial landscape?

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