Foreign direct investment in the health care sector and most-favoured locations in developing countries

Eur J Health Econ. 2007 Dec;8(4):305-12. doi: 10.1007/s10198-006-0010-9. Epub 2006 Dec 13.


Given the growing importance of the health care sector and the significant development of trade in health services, foreign direct investment (FDI) in this sector has gathered momentum with the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Despite extensive case based research and publications in recent years on health care markets and the rise of private sectors, it is surprisingly difficult to find evidence on the relative importance of the largest multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in the health care sector. The objective of the paper is to identify some of the determinants of foreign investment of the largest MNCs operating in this industry. The list of the largest MNCs has been compiled using company websites and data is available for 41 developing economies for which at least two MNCs have an office (branch and/or affiliate). The results of this study have some important implications. They indicate that location-specific advantages of host countries, including good governance, do provide an explication of the internationalization of firms in some developing countries rather than others.

MeSH terms

  • Commerce / economics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Developing Countries / economics*
  • Drug Industry / economics
  • Health Services Administration / economics
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Ownership