In this guest lecture a group of graduate students were invited by Carlos Largacha Martinez, vice-director for research of EAN to hear Ernst von Kimakowitz talk on the effect of foreign direct investments (FDI) of large transnational corporations (TNCs) on economic and social development. This lecture was held with a focus on the role of backward linkages between TNCs and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). These are those relationships where large international business organizations are buying intermediate goods and services from domestic SMEs. Such backward linkages were traditionally viewed as a potent development lever but more recent empirical evidence is rather sobering. The question thus is what can be done to ensure that the potential of backward linkages between TNCs and domestic SMEs in developing countries to be development conducive comes to fruition. Please follow this link to view the presentation or go here to view the English version of the EAN University website.
A lively discussion emerged after the lecture and the participating business students demonstrated both, a keen interest in the topic of moving development theory and practice beyond purely utilitarian views and also a fundamental awareness that business is required to and can play a more active role in nourishing development efforts.