The proliferation of multinational corporations (hereinafter referred to as MNCs) began 200 years ago, but they were making only a part of the foreign investment in different countries in the form of portfolio rather than long term greenfield or joint venture investments. With the increase of globalization, which is both the cause and the effect of internationalization of world trade, MNCs have become dominant players in the global economy.
Although severely affected by the economic and financial crisis, and expected to fall from $1.7 trillion of 2008 to below $1.2 in 2009 , the foreign direct investment (FDI) by MNCs have been paid great importance for high economic growth and strong economic performance in many parts of the world.
Table 1: Snapshot of the 100 largest MNCs from developing economies, 2006"2007 
The growth of assets and sales figures of top 100 MNCs in 2007 slowed down in 2008 while employment numbers have been improved.
Table 2: TNI  values for the top 100 largest MNCs worldwide, by selected, countries, 2006-2007
As it is shown in the TNI values above, EU based companies constitute the most of the Global FDI (with 66.4 %) but more countries from the developing countries (Republic of Korea, China, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia and Mexico) took part in top 100.
The end of the Cold War which led to the liberalization of the developing markets and opening of their economies with the removal of foreign investment barriers, privatization of the state economic enterprises and development of FDI attractive policies, has increased the investment of MNCs, especially in the developing countries. Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asian economies have become predominantly FDI focused first with labour-intensive manufacturing industries  and then with market-seeking FDI by 1990’s.  While MNCs are struggling to get an accurate answer for the "where to invest" question, countries have got into the competition of "attracting more FDI" to "become hosts to branch plants of MNCs as well as to small- and medium-sized firms from developed countries"  particularly after 1990’s. FDI not only "has become by far the single largest component of their net capital inflows"  but it also has become critical for these countries in terms of their effects on the human capital of the economies.  These countries not only try to benefit from the financial aspects of investment, they also try to get best practices, transfer knowledge with new ideas and technologies and adopt managerial skills and new methods of managing companies.  Additionally, investments of the MNCs in developing countries have played a significant role in the process of integration of developing countries with other countries of the world, which is referred to as economic openness, via increasing imports and exports and integrating firms, particularly SME’s into the global supply chain. 
In this global picture, it would be better to analyze the evolution of investment of MNCs in Turkey after early 1980’s, when markets were liberalized and import substitution policies were left. The decrease in the importance of government’s role in overall economy with the privatization of state enterprises and commercial and legal reforms aimed at attracting MNCs to Turkey, but the share Turkey had from worldwide FDI investments remained low until 2000’s.  After structural reforms, the political stability, economic growth of the domestic market, which increased annually by 6% from 2002 to 2008 in terms of annual average real GDP , increase in the government focus on FDI and as a result, increased openness of the country with local competitive environment  have changed the figures and Turkey has become the "target for foreign direct investment as it is both an efficient production base and an important market for delivery of goods and services." 
This paper aims to analyze the determinants of the MNCs’ investments in different counties with a focus on Turkey. First of all, the growing importance of MNCs in global economy and their intentions to act globally will be analyzed. Secondly, different determinants of international investment decisions such as legal and commercial determinants will be discussed. Afterwards, investment policies of developing countries and their reforms will be elaborated taking Turkey as a topic of analysis and Turkey’s investment environment will be discussed. In the conclusion, problems and different risks (commercial, political, legal risks) which an MNC may face in investing in Turkey will be analyzed.
Why is multinational investment important?
The importance of the role of multinational corporations in shaping the global economy has increased in the 20th century to a level that "any of the top 100 or so global firms exceed the GDP of many nations"  and today the multinational companies are creating most of the output and employment in the world.  They have had reciprocal relationship with globalization; in which globalization has led to higher FDI flows to countries while the opportunity of receiving a greater share of global FDI flows has motivated a number of countries to undertake further liberalization.  In addition to this, transnational companies have facilitated the international integration of markets for goods and services, which in turn helps to create the "global village." 
While the expansion of companies across different countries dates back to centuries ago, the expansion of transnational companies and the increase in their importance in world trade have gained pace after the 1980’s. The tendency of getting integrated with the global economy and the decrease of the importance of state’s economic role led to the expansion of MNCs, especially in the developing countries of the world. While the corporations have started to build local relationships and establish a strong local presence through FDI’s to benefit from different advantages,  where the countries which were focusing on getting higher shares of FDI investment were busy with giving MNCs more freedom and assistance in seeking economic cooperation with them. 
As the importance of their role in the global economy increases, multinational companies are both criticized and appreciated. Particularly their growing shares in developing countries’ economies and impact of their decisions in overall economic conditions of the host countries have increased the attention paid to MNCs. They are mainly criticized that MNCs lead to disappearance of domestic players as a result of their brand names, patented superior technology, marketing and management skills, control of a large section of world markets, and economies of scale with which domestic firms cannot compete. In addition to this, their positioning in the market as a profit seeker in the periods of economic growth may turn into repatriation of funds during economic downturns, depending on the type of investment. MNCs have also faced the criticism of controlling the domestic economic policies and taking actions that are contrary to a developing country’s national interests or independence.  Contrary to these criticisms, MNCs are not only supported just for their impact on the economic growth but also for their substantial impact on productivity growth, industrial development that is induced by FDI, opening of technological and managerial assets of foreign investors’ to developing countries, employment with a better-trained labour force, a higher national income, more innovations, and enhanced competitiveness in addition to foreign market outlets for a developing country’s exports. 
These are generally referred as the main motivators of MNCs in different markets. The question is "What shapes these motivators?" or in other words "What are the factors determining the investment decision?"
What are the factors determining the investment decision?
In general, MNCs try to achieve efficiency by minimizing their cost and maximizing economies of scale while reducing duplication.  They invest in different locations to get different advantages from host countries in order to operate better in their home base,  but when we analyse in detail, different factors are noticed, which lead firms to expand and invest abroad and become multinational. Looking for domestic markets to sell more goods, seeking raw materials and managerial knowledge or technology and trying to find countries where factors of production are cheaper are the main motivations behind global expansion of companies.  Multinational companies are looking for the perfect mix of these factors in answering the "where to invest" question. While labour costs and attributes of the workforce such as skill and educational levels are critical variables of investment decision, the purchasing power of the market and proximity to other markets are taken into consideration in taking the investment decision.  Additionally, the type of investment such as joint venture or wholly owned subsidiaries highly affects the investment decisions.
The question should be elaborated from the perspective of investing in developing countries which attract most of the investment of MNCs in the 20th century. The motivation of MNCs for investing in these countries differs from that for investing in developed countries, since the return of investment is higher with its risk premium. As an example, even tough there have been improvements in the situation, investors face problems with enforcing intellectual property rights and those selling branded products often have to deal with counterfeits in China, which is the main destination of MNCs investments. 
Market size and growth prospects of the host country, the availability of infrastructure, reasonable levels of taxation and the overall stability of the tax regime, stable political environment, as well as conditions that support physical and personal security, legal framework and the rule of law and corruption and governance concerns constitute the main concerns of MNCs in taking their decisions in developing countries.  The openness of the host country to international trade is another dimension that affects investment decisions of MNCs which allows the companies to export their final product to alternative markets easily and without limiting their sales operations with the host country market.  As a result of this, foreign investors prefer countries that trade more with the rest of the world. 
In addition to political and commercial factors, the legal framework and rule of law concepts are of high importance in developing countries and these factors are directly linked to the existence of good institutions with structural rules and regulations.  While it is evident that the existence of proper mechanisms does not directly affect investment decisions of companies, they have positive influence on development through the promotion of investment in general, which faces less uncertainty and higher expected rates of return.  Additionally, good governance which includes securing property rights establishing efficient public sector, minimizing "dead-weight" regulations, restrictions on trade and particularly securing transparency in government are defined as factors which "promote successful economic performance, encourage FDI by increasing the scope for profitable business activities."  In general, MNCs face difficulties with regard to enforceability of the law rather than existence of necessary materials in developing countries such as Pakistan’s unilateral cancellation of a range of electric power agreements or the conflicts over power generation contracts in Indonesia. 
All of the above mentioned factors affect investment decisions of MNCs, in different aspects. In order to promote and increase their attractiveness, countries take different actions, which will be explained in the next section.
How do countries improve their competencies in these factors?
Since MNCs put much more emphasis on this topic as they want to minimize the uncertainty and know that existing mechanisms will work when it is needed. As opposed to the existence of uncertainty in different investment environments with different regulatory frameworks and large political risks,  MNCs expanded " and are still expanding " their operations in different parts of the world. They expanded to Asian region, taking advantage of the low wage levels and benefiting from the liberalization of the economies of these countries  while countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico have been able to maintain a significant level of FDI inflows as a result of large domestic markets, rich natural resources, and relatively growing economies even with rather restrictive foreign investment regimes.  Having realized the impact on the development of the country, developing countries try to attract much more FDI than they used to do  and they try to increase pull factors to attract investment growing markets and production bases, widening pools of talent (e.g. 1/3 of global tertiary technical students now in China, India and the Russian Federation), cost advantages, natural resources. 
In this "race to attract more FDI", countries are trying to set strategies to attract more FDI while liberalizing investment regimes. There are many considerations that MNCs take into account such as "increased competitive intensity at the original location, cost-cutting requirements which prompt the search for new low-cost production locations, or pressure to enter new markets in response to similar moves by rivals."  Countries develop their own strategies in line with these considerations and their comparative advantageous areas, such as investors who are engaged in efficiency-seeking activities are offered skilled labour and wage-adjusted labour productivity  like some countries do such as India; while Eastern European countries focused on investors who are looking for enhanced infrastructure rather than their costs in influencing FDI location decisions. 
Fiscal incentives constitute the other type of influential tools to attract FDI. The incentives such as tax breaks and tax holidays, favourable utility usage fees, reduced custom duties and foreign exchange restrictions, relaxed ownership controls, and streamlined administrative procedures aim to create the best place in terms of FDI attractiveness.  Additionally, there has been the development of enclave zones under an overall national strategy. These zones have been employed "to bring in labour-intensive manufacturing activities to absorb surplus labour, to experiment with a policy instrument that has not been used before, and to facilitate the transition from a closed economy to an open one". 
It is fair to say that Turkey has a history of 30 years in this "race" and until 2000’s, it couldn’t perform well due to political instability, economic crises and lack of strong vision to attract investment. The next two sections aims to elaborate the overall situation of Turkey and concerns and problems about investing in Turkey.
Where does Turkey stand in the overall picture?
It would be more proper to analyze the MNCs investments in Turkey after the 1980’s, when economic policy shifted from import substitution policies to market liberal economy with increasingly open and aggressive foreign market principles.  Just after then, the focus of international investors has increased and they started to take major role in the country’s economy.  The privatization of state economic enterprises, liberalization of the foreign investment regime and the legal regime which helps MNCs open their branches without any limitation on the equity participation ration of the foreign shareholders  increased the momentum to investment of MNCs in Turkey. From the perspective of legal regulation, enabling 100 percent foreign ownership, lowering tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers and compliance with international legal/accounting regulations  can be evaluated among the early developments to enhance legal environment.
However, with its candidacy status of EU membership, its geographical location between Asia and Europe and domestic market of 72 million, Turkey has been perceived as having significant potential for market-seeking FDI, but the potential is unlikely to be translated into concrete outcomes until 2000’s.  The major reasons which hindered the flow of FDI to Turkey were political uncertainty, unstable and inefficient legal and regulatory framework, unfavourable macroeconomic conditions (mainly high inflation), corruption, and competition from other countries in the region.  Until then, Turkey had been mainly preferred as an export base rather in addition to serving Turkey’s domestic market thanks to its access to a wide diversity of markets ranging from Western Europe, Middle East and the Gulf, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea region and the Turkish speaking republics of Central Asia. 
The major reforms and the political momentum after 2002, the increase in improved economic conditions and in turn, GDP per capita, legal reforms and candidacy of the country to EU membership increased FDI inflows to Turkey  and have shifted MNCs attention to Turkey and FDI into Turkey has tripled between 2005 and 2007 compared to what Turkey had received in the previous twenty years.  The amount of FDI Turkey received in 2007 increased to $22 billion, as a result of "large-scale privatizations and M&A deals."  The EU countries such as "the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, together with the United States, Switzerland and Japan, traditionally have been the main sources of FDI in Turkey"  and the type of the MNCs investment to Turkey has changed its direction from manufacturing to service, for instance in 2007, with $11.4 billion in FDI inflows were coming for service related industries. 
The economic turmoil has affected the FDI inflows to Turkey and 2008 and 2009 figures could not reach the $22 billion of 2007. FDI has decreased by 59.2% in 2009 compared to same period of 2008 and reached to $6.956 Billion.
Graph 1: Foreign Direct Investment - (1994-2009 November) 
This drop crystallized the concerns and problems persist for MNCs in investing in Turkey. In the next section the determinants of the investment decision in Turkey and critical points need to be considered in decision making will be discussed.
While Turkey has made a significant progress in simplifying the legal framework and cutting red tape, there is room for improvement, particularly in the field of enforcement of law. The enforcement principles should not depend on the size, type and the origin of companies and should create an equal level playing field for all investors.  Having amended many reforms in legal area, Turkey needs a long way to enforce law effectively and fight against corruption, which directly affect the legal enforcement and is a critical determinant in shaping investment decisions. According to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), while Turkey shares the 1st rank together with Croatia among Eastern Europe and Central Asia in overall, Turkey ranks the 64th among 180 countries and has a score of 4.1 on a scale of 0-10.  In this perspective, Turkey has to fight much effectively against corruption, avoid unrecorded economic practice and work hard to improve transparency by making clear and detailed definitions in the incentive legislation.  In addition to legal perspective, Turkey needs to streamline functioning of regulatory framework in order to introduce real competition and improve the bureaucratic processes and government organizations’ approach which will in turn increase the efficiency of the economy.  Because "rule of law is still perceived as weak by foreign investors and it can be only improved by creating an independent dispute resolution mechanism or by improving the legitimacy of those responsible for regulating legal disputes and contracts.  To overcome these difficulties, Turkey has been working on amending its legal and regulatory rules such as Turkish Commercial Code and Capital Market Law and harmonizing it with EU Acquis  but as of January 2009 such efforts have not been successful. Taking these considerations into account, the fifth action plan of the Coordination Council for the Improvement of Investment Environment in 2009 has emphasized the importance of the actions that needed in company establishment, intellectual and industrial property rights, corporate governance and transparency and commercial code. 
Turkey has become an important investment destination for export oriented MNCs. It is true that the rise of FDI flows into Turkey has been positively affected by the political stability created by the single party government after 2002; but it would not be a holistic approach to neglect all other factors. The opening of EU accession negotiations at the end of 2002 has also created a strong anchor for political stability. Despite the fact that the negations have lost momentum in time, it helped and still does Turkey market itself as an "EU candidate" to third parties.
The geographical position of Turkey creates a distinctive advantage among other countries in the region while the political tensions of the region may create disadvantages from time to time. Turkey’s political stability is highly affected with the political stability in the region; thus, regional dynamics may affect the performance of the country negatively. Apart from these tensions in the Caucasus, problems in the Middle East, the ongoing crises between the government and opposition groups/parties have created a basis for political concerns which are likely to affect the economic conditions of Turkey. In order to minimize the concerns, to contribute to the political stability of the region and to increase the geopolitical advantages of Turkey in the region which will in turn aim to increase the attention of MNCs interested in opening to new markets via Turkey, foreign politics of the Turkey has become actively engaged in economic and diplomatic relationships within Balkans, Middle East and Caucasia and strengthening ties with the countries.
Commercial and Economic Environment
In terms of economic and commercial factors, the size and the growth prospects of the domestic market, the status of communications and transportation infrastructure and the financial stability of the market constitute important elements of FDI decision making. 
Turkey has a distinct competitive advantage in some of the industries; it has attracted important amount of foreign direct investment in basic metals, automotive and white goods industries and developed strength in white collar labour force to serve these needs.  However, the problems such as higher taxes, which are higher than in other Central Eastern European countries, unfair competition resulting from informal economy erode the advantages that Turkey get from these industries. 
To overcome these difficulties, the foreign investment decisions has been recently revised in 2003 "bureaucratic formalities are abandoned, the principle of equal treatment is reemphasized and the law has changed Turkey’s foreign investment policy from screening system to monitoring system".  The main amendments have been made in FDI law, such as the removal of minimum capital requirement of $50,000 per foreign shareholder, elimination of pre approval and registration requirements for certain transactions- capital increase, change of field of activity and of license, know-how, royalty, technical assistance and allowance for foreign investors to form any form of company included in the Turkish Commercial Code.
However still more action is needed, in terms of business environment, such as enhancements in social security premiums that constitute a major factor in labour costs as a critical determinant affecting the cost of production and provisions such as free land, tax holiday for a certain start-up period.
After the liberalization of the markets in 1980’s, Turkey has experienced problems such as unstable growth rates, political instability and high inflation rates, the performance after 2000’s has opened a new path for the FDI attractiveness in the global market. But oppose to the fact that Turkey has attracted an important amount of FDI in latest 10 years; Turkey still faces problems such as regional political disputes in the region that directly or indirectly affects the investment, corruption and lack of transparency and quality of institutions.  There is a long "to-do list" waiting for Turkey in different aspect of reforming investment environment such as "changing the vicious circle of bureaucratic envy, simplifying the currently complicated tax system, decreasing the taxes on various transactions, safeguarding public sector transparency, reducing social security premiums, establishing an appropriate regulatory framework in order to introduce fair competition in all sectors, fighting against corruption and avoiding unrecorded economic practice."  Among these drawbacks, the legal employment costs of labour and the corruption in transparency of transactions constitute two major development areas for Turkey  which MNCs regard as significant determinants of their investment decisions. In addition to barriers of formal employment, fiscal and monetary problems such as controlling the gains from fiscal consolidation, maintaining strict monetary policies with inflation targeting  have growing importance when the current global financial situation is taken into consideration.
As the competition to attract foreign investment gets tighter and MNCs quest for optimum investment decision continues, MNCs will continuously evaluate the advantages of disadvantages of investing in Turkey. Turkey will get the existing share, around 1% of Global FDI  as long as the existing economic policies are followed. If Turkey wishes to get to the next level with higher percentages; factors of decision, particularly commercial and legal ones need to be revisited.
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