A critical discussion on foreign direct investment in the multilateral trade system and development in SADC.
Nhlakanipho, Macmillan Zikalala.
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Development is understood to be an economic process that aims at a constant improvement of the well-being of all individuals who have the right to participate and benefits from the fruits of development. Development is also a right that requires a progressive realisation by governments, international communities and private sectors to the satisfaction of all individuals. A progressive realisation of this right requires a vibrant economy, which can be acquired through International trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is in this context that this thesis has attempted to discuss the influence of FDI and International trade on development. The discussion was initiated by focusing on the history of the multilateral trade system (MTS) by looking at various Ministerial rounds of both the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In this discussion the thesis found that, whilst there are various multilateral political frameworks regulating trade, FDI is subject to regional and domestic political frameworks. The thesis also discussed development in relation to the millennium development goals (MGDs). It was established the goal eight of the MDGs requires the integration of poor countries into the MTS so that they can be able to exploit their comparative advantage. This goal influenced the launching of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) at the Doha round in 2001. However, the thesis also established that conclusion of the DDA has been progressing at a slow pace. Therefore it has not yielded substantial results for poor countries. The failure to conclude the DDA has led to an increase of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), which some scholars view as a supplement of multilateral trade integration. However, the SADC region has not been able to conclude their integration objectives due to the fact that many member states belong to other RTAs. In the case of FDI the thesis established that FDI is accompanied by a wide range of resources for host countries, which can be utilised for enhancing development. However, it was also established that the SADC has not been able to attract lucrative FDI due to a wide range of factors that impede FDI. On this finding, a case study was employed on four countries in the region, namely Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.