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.
[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.
Transnational corporations play an important role as owners, as partners in joint enterprises, and as suppliers of technology in the mining and manufacturing sectors of many countries. Their role has been viewed more positively in recent years, in response to their need for foreign exchange and their awareness of the value of foreign investment. Effective cooperation has proved possible by strict observance of the principle of sovereignty and a recognition that profit-seeking objectives must be pursued within a framework of long-term sustainable development.