Dilemmas on OFDI Measuring and Interpreting: The Case of Poland

Dilemmas on OFDI Measuring and Interpreting: The Case of Poland

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2448-0.ch057
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Foreign direct investments (FDI) seem to have been thoroughly studied in specialised literature. However the scope of available statistical data often significantly hampers or even prevents any in-depth analysis of the phenomenon. The dynamic economic processes lead to the formation of new linkages, new organisational solutions in international enterprises that co-exist with well described and recognised forms of FDI but escape proper monitoring of statistical institutions. The chapter discusses the different concepts of measuring and interpreting FDI to provide researchers helpful guidelines how to deal with the problems of different methodological dilemmas. A main conclusion is that data provided by official statistics are insufficient and incoherent, and analysis of the scale of OFDI engagement of enterprises (especially from emerging countries) carries some risk and its results should be approached with caution. The case study of Poland's statistics has been used to portray the most significant discrepancies and problems.
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FDI is an important category in international accounts, and one of the five functional categories used as the primary basis for classifying data on financial transactions, positions, and income (Kozlow 2011, p. 27). Unfortunately, the quality of FDI data remains unsatisfactory and apparently the collection of high quality data on inward and outward FDI is a challenge to statisticians and researchers, which has been raised as an issue since the 1990s (Cantwell 1992). The problem becomes particularly clear when we compare FDI in international and national economic accounts. The lack of reliable statistical information and inconsistency in data collection and reporting methods of many countries complicate studies and make impact assessment difficult. Besides, it limits the ability of policymakers to formulate appropriate FDI policies and strategies (Fujita 2008, p. 108). Timely and reliable statistics are the key if they are to be used as tools by decision makers and potential investors.

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