The 3rd Business seminar on Sustainable Development
The 3rd Business seminar on Sustainable Development26 Mar 2019
Are Multinational Firms Ready for Sustainable Development?
That was the title and main question raised by the authors: Professor Tarek El Domyaty, Dr. Mina Kamal and Dr. Yasmine Saeed in a presentation delivered on Monday, February 25, 2019.
The presentation questioned the relations between multinational enterprises and the sustainable development goals, raising the questions of “What do we know?” and “How to proceed?”
To highlight the importance of that issue, the presentation underlined the fact that the impact of multinational business, both in the developed and developing world is undeniable. This is proved in light of several stunning figures showing that in 2006, 200 large corporations accounted for more than 25% of world GDP and directly employed around 2% of the global workforce. The market capitalization of S&P 500 firms reached around 23 trillion dollars in 2017, that is roughly 30% of the world’s entire GDP estimated at 77 trillion dollars.
Browsing the path that the measuring of firm growth has taken since 1959, the study suggested Longevity as an alternative concept (more sustainability-based one) to measure the growth of multinational firms.
The presentation focused on examining the use of that term by analyzing its effects on studying the big firms’ sustainability. It came eventually to some important conclusions including the following:
Large firms are able to engage in sustainable development investments in the short-term because of their access to financing (short-term, long-term and internal financing). It also concluded that large firms are able to determine the market timing for equity financing. Large firms have short-term investment horizons for their short-term growth plans which enables the speeding up of the sustainable development results.
Although the presentation was very technical, its introductory questions, methods and conclusions were so creative that they incited several important questions and debates from the Faculty of Business staff members who attended it.