New Voices in Investment: A Survey of Investors From Emerging Countries
November 20, 2014The World Bank Headquarters

Discussion of a new book that sheds light on the characteristics, motivations and strategies of emerging-market investors.

One out of every three dollars invested abroad in 2013 originated in firms from developing and emerging-economy countries. These companies have become major sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) and increasingly salient players in global markets. Yet we still have a limited understanding of the factors driving their impressive rise and their patterns of internationalization.

The forthcoming book, New Voices in Investment: A Survey of Investors from Emerging Countries, sheds light on the characteristics, motivations, strategies, and needs of emerging-market investors, drawing on a survey of more than 710 investors and potential investors. The book shows that investors from emerging markets consider not only the size of the host economy, but also the opportunities for regional market expansion when taking location decisions. However, they confront significant transaction costs from investing in distant, culturally dissimilar markets, resulting in a strong regional bias. This regional concentration is stronger for investment in the services sector, where firms face higher transaction costs associated with geographical and cultural differences.

This event will introduce the findings from the book and kickstart a conversation that will be beneficial for Bank staff, academics, and policymakers alike in designing investment promotion initiatives.


  • Laura Gómez-Mera is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami and a short-term consultant with the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. She earned a doctorate in politics and international relations from Oxford University and a master’s degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University.
  • Thomas Kenyon is a Senior Private Sector Development Specialist with the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, where he works on industrial policy and related issues in Brazil and South Africa. He holds a doctorate in political science from Columbia University and has held research fellowships at Princeton and Johns Hopkins Universities.
  • Gonzalo Varela is currently a Trade Economist with the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, where he works on trade and competitiveness–related topics. He joined the Bank in 2011, working with the trade team of the Indonesia World Bank office. Prior to joining the World Bank, he lectured at the University of Sussex, University of Pisa, and Scuola Sant’Anna, and worked for the Ministry of Industry in Uruguay. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Sussex and a master’s degree in international economics from the same institution.
  • Theodore H. Moran holds the Marcus Wallenberg Chair in International Business and Finance at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, where he teaches and conducts research at the intersection of international economics, business, foreign affairs, and public policy. Dr. Moran is founder of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy, and serves as Director in providing courses on international business-government relations and negotiations to some 600 undergraduate and graduate students each year. In 1993-94, Dr. Moran served as Senior Advisor for Economics on the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State, where he had responsibility for trade, finance, technology, energy, and environmental issues. He returned to Georgetown after the NAFTA and Uruguay Round negotiations. He received his PhD from Harvard in 1971 and is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and at the Center for Global Development.

Event Details
  • When: 2:30-4 pm Nov. 20
  • Where: Room MC 7-100, 1818 H Street NW
  • Contact: Patrick Ibay,