In the present issue of FOCUS: Journal of International Business, emphasis is laid not only on contemporary issues surrounding the global pandemic and its impact on international business but contributions are also made towards the ever-growing discourse surrounding business and digital innovations, international trade agreements, theoretical foundations of MNC functioning as well as intellectual property rights.
Foremost, Dr Vasudha Gupta and Prof. Swami Prasad Saxena, in their paper titled ‘Assessment of the economic impact of the prospective India–GCC FTA: A partial equilibrium simulation analysis’ attempt to examine the possible impact of tariff liberalization due to the prospective India–GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on revenue, welfare and potential trade flows between India and GCC by using an ex-ante equilibrium approach through the SMART model on disaggregated trade data. Also exploring the business potential and its consequences between India and another entity is Dr Thuy T. Dang, Mrs Thi Oanh Nguyen, Ms Ngoc Diem Tran and Mr Duc Trung Nguyen’s study on ‘Transport infrastructure connectivity through the Mekong–India Economic Corridor: A case study of India and Vietnam’. The paper, based on an objective assessment and in-depth perspective on the transport infrastructure connectivity between Vietnam and India through the MIEC clearly figures out the bottlenecks in connectivity, cooperation and development between the two countries.
Another interesting study by Mr Shubham Sah and Dr Amit Kundu aims to find out the opportunity for investors to reduce the risk of their portfolio by diversifying their investment in Japan’s stock market. Selecting fifteen securities across 2016-2021 from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), the authors evaluate covariance, correlation, expected return, risk and Sharpe ratio of these securities, across different portfolios and the optimum one is selected, which ultimately maximises the returns of investors and minimises the risk of their portfolio.
After emerging out of the extensive outsourcing activities of multinational corporations, the virtual factory model is now playing a prominent role in globalization. In light of the same, Dr Palvinder Kaur, in her paper on ‘Significance of intellectual property rights in the era of global value chain: A case study of Apple’ explores the concept of a virtual manufacturer. This study examines the issue of protection of intellectual property rights that has become increasingly relevant in the context of global value chains and trade.
Keeping up with the journal’s commitment to providing a forum for the dissemination of the research findings of scholars and academicians on pertinent issues in international business, this issue has three review papers. The contemporary issue of business in the times of pandemic is dealt with by Dr Subhanjali Chopra and Dr Meenakshi Chaudhary in their paper ‘Remote work is the new normal: Virtual teams as a prerequisite in the global business strategy.’ Despite virtual teams’ growing prevalence, relatively little is known about this new form of work team, particularly in most developing nations. Thus, the objective of the paper is to identify the antecedents of virtual team performance and critically examine the literature to filter the advantages and pitfalls of virtual teams.
Additionally, Ms Ruthramathi Raja and Prof. Sivakumar Venkatachalam in their paper shed light on how digital technology has heavily revolutionized the logistics industry. They highlight digital technology and third-party logistics service providers to understand how technology is used and improve efficiency in the field of third-party logistics and supply chain industries.
A critical literature review approach is presented by Dr Pardeep Kumar in his study titled ‘Revisiting the controlling function in multinational corporations: A critical review of literature’. Exploring the ‘Evolutional model of controlling’ based on multi-factor analysis, the paper examines the assumptions of the controlling concept, and wherever possible, redefines them. It extends the approach by incorporating additional functions and features including reverse knowledge transfer and measuring controlling effectiveness.
This issue also includes a ‘Perspective’ by Dr. Vandana Jain who analyses the evolving policy of India towards outward FDI. The paper discusses the pivotal role played by the Indian Government in fostering gradual but steady policy reforms for creating a conducive ecosystem for overseas investment by Indian MNCs. The author suggests further liberalization of services like communication, education and personal services to augment the contribution of the service sector in India's OFDI.
We hope that the diverse range of subjects covered in this issue act as ‘food for thought’ for our readers and prove to be intellectually stimulating for them. The support of the readers and the contributions of all the authors to the discourse on pertinent issues in international business is greatly appreciated.
Prof. (Dr.) Niti Bhasin