The sheer size, the seeming power, and the evident alternatives of transnational enterprises fill national leaders with a sense of diluted control over the economic life of their own countries.
The world economy has outrun the capacity of national governments and international institutions to regulate and control it. In particular, the largest transnational corporations wield enormous economic and political power. The number of multinational companies jumped from 7,000 in 1970 to 40,000 by 1995. If they were states, 50 companies would have appeared in the list of the world's largest one hundred economies in 2000. The five largest companies in the world have have combined sales greater than the total incomes of the world's poorest 46 countries. Multinational companies also hold 90 per cent of all technology and product patents.
[Developing countries] As seen through the eyes of leaders of developing countries, transnational enterprises seem to have more options than the countries that the leaders represent. Mutual suspicion continues to exist because of the asymmetry in bargaining power and disagreements concerning the process of technology transfer, the development of natural resources, and the use of the environment.