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Multinational corporations (MNCs) have become an increasingly important force in the dynamics of the global economy. For example, according to the United Nations, during the last 20 years, the gross product of the foreign affiliates of multinational corporations increased faster than global GDP while foreign affiliate sales increased faster than global exports. Sales of foreign affiliates worldwide ($14 trillion in 1999 versus just $3 trillion in 1980) are now nearly twice as large as global exports. And the ratio of world FDI stock to world GDP increased from 5% to 16% during the last twenty years. Taking into account both their international and national production, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that multinational corporations produced about 25% of the world's GDP in 1999. ( UNCTAD, World Investment Report, 2000, p. xv).