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Title: The changing geography and organisation of multinational agribusiness

Authors: Ruth Rama

Addresses: IEGD-CSIC, Albasanz, 26-28, 28037 Madrid, Spain

Abstract: We review several strands of literature, foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics and web pages of companies in order to understand current changes in the geography and organisation of multinational agribusiness. FDI in agriculture has soared, and multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging economies have become major international players, coinciding with the divestment from land of many Western-based MNEs. Much of land-related foreign investment in this sector consists of South-South investment. The liberalisation of land markets has been instrumental in facilitating the rapid expansion of foreign land deals. Paradoxically, corruption and anti-democratic practices have also favoured the swift expansion of foreign investment in agriculture. Agri-food MNEs based in the West have tended to divest from land and adopt new forms of international investment; this has helped them to stay in business in the face of adverse environments. Most agri-food MNEs from emerging economies have expanded, in contrast, through traditional FDI or foreign land leasing. However, several of these companies are implementing networked forms of production organisation, and this strategy is contributing to their rapid internationalisation. Academic and policy implications are discussed.

Keywords: multinational agribusiness; FDI in agriculture; liberalisation of land markets; MNEs from emerging economies; new forms of international investment; networked multinationals.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCS.2017.085156

International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy, 2017 Vol.2 No.1, pp.1 - 25

Received: 22 Jul 2016
Accepted: 09 Dec 2016

Published online: 03 Jul 2017 *

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