Instead of trying to combat poverty by giving foreign aid, more permanent results could be achieved by educating local people to help themselves, which could be accomplished by the means of multinational enterprises. Companies possess money, knowledge and innovations to help the citizens and governments of developing countries to improve their living conditions. The MNEmerge research team studies how multinational enterprises operate in developing countries, what kind of benefits the companies get from operating there, and how the cooperation between companies and decision-makers could be strengthened.
In MNEmerge, the impacts of the operations of multinational companies are mirrored against the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals. The UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals are common development targets for the whole world: halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development. The goals were set by the 2010 United Nations Summit and the target date for their achievement is 2015.
The field research of the MNEmerge project will be conducted in three countries, Brazil, Ghana and India. In Brazil, the objective is to study how rural communities could be electrified in a cost-effective manner. The research in Ghana focuses on assessing the impacts of the operations of Chinese large enterprises in Africa. In India, in turn, the aim is to study how sanitation and hygiene could be enhanced in rural communities in order to improve people’s health and capacity for work.
MNEmerge, A Framework Model on MNE's Impact on Global Development Challenges in Emerging Markets, is a three-year (2014-2016) international research project funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project consortium consists of universities around the world, including the University of Oxford, Brunel University and King’s College London from the UK, the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the University of Turku from Finland, and United Nations University from the Netherlands. The project is coordinated by the LUT. Other project partners include Council for Scientific and Industrial Research from Ghana, INESC P&D Brazil, and Public Health Foundation of India. The overall project budget is EUR 2.6 million.
Prof Xiaolan Fu will lead the research design and methods of the project and Work package 3 assessing the impact of the operations of Chinese MNEs in Africa.
You can find further information on the project, involved partners and research agenda at the MNEmerge website www.mnemerge.com
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement No. 612889.