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Institutional forms of British foreign direct investment in South America



This article uses South American evidence to substantiate a claim that, notwithstanding the many difficulties of controlling overseas agents, effective strategic control was exerted over much British direct investment in South America through entrepreneurial companies or mercantile investment groups before 1914. The new definition of foreign direct investment established in the 1970s embraces corporate investment, of a sort common in North America, for which British directors were responsible even though they exerted inadequate control, but South American experience, relating to a substantially larger body of investment, supports the stronger contention that it captures substantial pools of entrepreneurial capital, more clearly deserving the name foreign direct investment, and therefore provides a category that can be applied consistently in discussions of foreign direct investment and the expansion of international business over the whole of the period from 1860 to the present

Topics: HF, H
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