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BUS 431: Business with East Asian Countries

 

Introduction

This short guide is focused mostly on the "Foreign Direct Investment" assignment for the course.   If it doesn't have what you need, don't hesitate to use the Help options listed below.

Good luck with your projects!

Mark

Resources

Foreign direct investment (FDI) data

Most sources for FDI data tend to be governments and intergovernmental bodies. In some cases you can go straight to the organisation's website to find free data, in others the data is in a fee-based database that the library provides.  Here are a few sources to start with: 

UNCTAD's Foreign Direct Investment Database  Key resource
This should be your very first stop!  UNCTAD's FDI database presents aggregate inflows, outflows, inward stocks and outward stocks of foreign direct investment (FDI) for 196 reporting economies in an interactive format. Be sure to click on "Individual Economies" at the top of the table to see country-specific data.

Note: More detailed statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) and operations of transnational corporations (TNCs) in selected countries are also available the UNCTAD site. However, the coverage of most East Asian countries seems to be a bit dated. Try searching the UNCTAD site for "FDI Profile" or "FDI in Brief" along with your target country's name. See this report on Cambodia, for example. Also see this search for UNCTAD documents that mention Korea.  Remember: even if the report is old, you may be able to go to some of the same sources for newer information.

IMF Coordinated Direct Investment Survey
See especially their Individual Economy Mirror Data tables.

UNCTADstat
Look for FDI data in the International Finance section. Likely just a recap of the great data in the resource above.

World Development Indicators
World Bank source. Offers a few different long time series on net foreign direct investment by country.

Asian Development Bank
A great source for stats and analysis of countries in the region.  I'd start with their Data & Research pages.

OECD iLibrary
Although Korea and Japan are the only East Asian members of the OECD, OECD data and reports often cover non-OECD countries. Try a quick keyword search for just FDI to get a feeling for the wide range of information available in this database. Also try viewing the latest edition of the OECD International Direct Investment Statistics publication, including its many links to data on FDI inflows, outflows, and positions. Or go straight to the OECD's FDI data.

Passport
Passport provides foreign investment data for every country in the world, but doesn't provide details on which countries the investment is coming from. Start by Searching for "foreign direct investment" plus a country name.

Your target country's Ministry or Dept of Statistics or of Finance, or their Central Bank
Just as Statistics Canada tracks things like FDI for Canada, many other countries offer free data on topics such as foreign investments or Balance of Payments.  Start by finding the site of the relevant Government Statistics Office or Central Bank. Google is great for this, but I also like this old directory of government sites: Choose your country, then do a CTRL-F on the page to find government agencies whose names contain terms such as statistics/finance/bank/export... then look for a link to an English language version of the site and search or browse.  Here, for example, is some recent data on FDI for Korea. via the Korea Eximbank (aka: "Export-Import Bank of Korea").

FDI overviews

Although most countries would offer some information on their government pages about how they regulate (encourage/obstruct) FDI, it's often more interesting to get an external analysis by visiting the site of another government or an intergovernmental body.

[USA] Export.gov - Country Commercial Guides
It can take a bit of digging, but Country Commercial Guides prepared by the US government do offer quite a bit of "investment climate" information for many countries. Select your target country from the list, then browse to find the discussion of their "Investment Climate." See this CCG for Mongolia as an example.

International Monetary Fund
Try searching the IMF site for FDI and your country name.  Also try "Direct investment" and your country name. Or you could just go straight to the country page and scan all the documents the IMF has for that country. And the IMF's Data Mapper tool will allow you to create beautiful charts and graphs comparing countries and regions on such measures as Direct Investment Abroad and Direct Investment in Reporting Economy.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Reports
These reports often include some analysis of current and expected influences on inward and outward investment for a country. 

Books: A good book (or ebook!) on a topic like this will have far deeper coverage than most reports that you might find online.  Start with searching for the Keyword -- FDI AND [your country name] -- (e.g., FDI AND Korea) but you might also want to try searching for the Subject: Investments, foreign - [your country name]. (E.g., Investments, foreign - Korea).  

To get a better idea of the sorts of ebooks and books we have on FDI, try this broad search for anything with "Investments, foreign" in the subject area.

IMD World Competitiveness Online
Provides some basic FDI data, but also several other measures of the "competitiveness" of many different countries.

Company information

I understand that for this assignment you will need to research the experiences of a specific company in your target country.  If possible, it's usually easier to do some broad research and try to find a company whose experiences in your country are well documented, rather than picking a company before you start the research.

As with the tip above, start with books.  Try the Subject: International business enterprises - [your country name](E.g., International business enterprises - China)

Also try searching for news articles in Business Source Complete and LexisNexis (start with the All News file in LexisNexis).  Focus on articles that touch on both your company and your country.  Try some proximity searching if necessary to focus your searches.

Our Factiva database of international company/industry/general news sources may also help.  Try a search such as:  (statistics or data or overview) and ((fdi or foreign direct investment or foreign investment) w/3 (your chosen company))   Also try adding "and rst=fdinv" to your Factiva search to focus on articles from the FT publication: Foreign Direct Intelligence (fDi) That source often includes details on specific companies and regions.

Depending on when your target company entered the country, the company's history may prove useful.  Try our International Directory of Company Histories.

Getting help

Look for an online or print guide.  Many of the databases that you will use have built-in 'help' sections (e.g., Business Source Complete and Academic Search Complete).  In addition, for general help using our catalogue or moving from citation to journal, we have many online tutorials.

Visit the librarians at our Help desk or try contacting our reference librarians via telephone, chat, or email using our Ask a Librarian services.

You are also welcome to email me (mbodnar@sfu.ca) with your questions. It makes things much more efficient if you start your email by explaining...

  • what class you are in (so I have an idea of your assignment and background);
  • when the assignment is due;
  • what exactly you are after (saying that you need "everything about Microsoft in Korea" is far too broad - saying that you need to know where to find "data on Microsoft's computer sales in Korea" is better (though not necessarily simpler!));
  • where you have you looked so far (have you tried the catalogue and Business Source Complete?);
  • and what search terms you tried when you searched.

After your search

Writing your report

Research is only half the battle! You also need to communicate your findings in a clear, well-structured paper, Check the SFU Library guides to Business Writing and Academic Writing Resources for information to help with essay structure, grammar, spelling, and more.

Help with presentations

The SFU Library has many books on creating effective business presentations and on public speaking or Powerpoint in general, including several recent titles that are available online for SFU researchers. We also have videos with public speaking tips. See our Business Presentations guide for useful resources to help you impress your audience!

Citing your sources

You also need to correctly cite all of the books, journal articles, and sites that you used in your research. Start with the SFU Library style guides (covers APA and other major styles), as well as our guide to citing Business sources using APA.  Note also that many of our article indexes (e.g., Business Source Complete) will allow you to email article citations to yourself with the citation automatically in APA format.

Plagiarism

Learning how to properly credit others when you use their ideas is a difficult, but important part of research. Start with the SFU Library's interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism to test yourself and to learn more about plagiarism. Also read the SFU Library Guide on Plagiarism for further discussion of this critical topic and for links to other plagiarism guides.