The Importance of Mine-site-level-data to National Competitive Advantage

A comparison of Porter’s factors toward NCA; the LPRM’s recommended applications of its mine-site-level-generated data and Behre Dolbear’s identified most important factors to attract country-level and firm-level mining FDI, provide the lens for this case-study (MSV; Porter M, The Competitive Advantage of Nations).

While each mentioned source provides a set of factors or recommendations, respectively, broader than the scope of this analysis, there is clear alignment between, to the factors which are priority, as weighted between the three sources: infrastructure, human resources, development of supporting industries, firm strategy and rivalry, and government.

Both Porter and Behre Dolbear highlight efficient infrastructure as a key factor toward developing or maintaining, investment-driven competitive advantage and FDI respectively. Infrastructure is a clear bottle-neck to efficiency in Brazil and insufficient to develop investment-driven NCA.

Brazil’s “investment in infrastructure has fallen from 5.4% of GDP in the 1970s to 2.1% in 2000s.” Transport “infrastructure as a share of GDP has fallen from 2% in the 1970s to 0.5% in the 2000s” and “14% of its roads are paved and rail links remain limited”(Korinek J, 2014).

Local Content Policies in Minerals-exporting countries generated mine-site level data enables host governments to “target infrastructure spending to facilitate more competitive suppliers” ((Geipel J, Nickerson E, Kietly J, Regenstrief T, 2017). This may involve “building new transportation links where shipping costs are preventing competitive prices from suppliers” and therefore inhibiting a flow of FDI into supporting industries.

In the case of Finland, investment-driven FDI is supported by government, notably through an “agreement between mining firms and government for the support of infrastructure development, once parties agree on investments and production levels are realized.”

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