Intellectual Property and Foreign Direct Investment: An Empirical Analysis


  • Nur Hayati Abd Rahman Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka
  • Khairunnisa Abd Samad Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka
  • Shahreena Daud Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka
  • Zarinah Abu Yazid Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka



ASEAN-5, foreign direct investment, intellectual property protection, digital economy, copyrights


With help from both domestic and international markets, ASEAN countries are able to catch-up withthe latest economic development if they can sustain high economic growth for a long-period of time. To doso, the resources available in countries such as capital and labors should fully be utilized up to theoptimum level. The capital itself can be in many forms such as investment. Since most of the ASEANcountries are categorized as developing countries, the reliance on foreign direct investment (FDI) as asource of growth is highly needed as it helps the economy to step on a higher stage of economic developmentvia the roles of foreign experts and technological transfer. In ensuring a higher level of investment, there isa need to ensure a high level of intellectual property protection since it assists in promoting invention,innovation and new business development. In opposite, lacking in protection might discourage foreigninvestors to invest in the countries, thus limiting the ability of the countries to grow further. Therefore, theaim of this paper is to examine whether strong intellectual property protection will really help in attractingmore foreign investors to invest in ASEAN-5 countries. Using annual data from 2007 to 2016, panel dataestimation using random effect is employed. It was found that the ASEAN-5 countries should strengthentheir intellectual property protection in order to stimulate higher foreign investments. Nevertheless, inbetween copyright and patents, copyrights protection gives significant effect to the FDI inflows relative tothe latter one. It indicates that the countries are slowly moving out from the production-based economy andcatching-up towards a digital economy. Keywords: ASEAN-5, foreign direct investment, intellectual property protection, digital economy, copyrights


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