January 12–13, 1999
Co-hosted by the World Bank and
The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Abstracts of Papers Presented
Foreign Investment and Urban Growth
Victor Sit, University of Hong Kong
The paper explores the formation of Asian mega agglomerations (extended metropolitan regions or EMRs) and their integration into the world economy. The central thesis is that urbanization has acquired new dimensions with globalization, and that EMRs are by nature global cities. The paper shows that, at least in Asia, much of DFI (20 to 61% depending on the country) concentrates in EMRs. Further, it reviews cases such as the Pearl River Delta where urbanization and globalization have gone hand in hand. The paper argues that globalization leads to increased concentration in EMRs (not, however, in traditional urban centers). Although the paper clearly focuses on Asia some interesting comparisons with Latin America are made. In particular, it is argued that Asian mega cities have avoided the problems experienced by the mega cities of Latin America - high unemployment, ill health and social problems.