Foreign direct investment (FDI) is the movement of capital across national frontiers in a manner that grants the investor control over the acquired asset. FDIs require a business relationship between a parent company and its foreign subsidiary. Out of two primary channels for FDI effects on economic growth, inflows of physical capital and technology spillovers respectively, it is technology spillovers that have the strongest potential to enhance economic growth in the host country. Using panel data analysis the empirical part of the paper finds indications that FDI inflows enhance economic growth in developing economies but not in developed economies. To operate a firm in the intermediate goods sector, entrepreneurs must develop a new variety of intermediate good, a task that requires upfront capital investments. The more developed the local financial markets, the easier it is for credit constrained entrepreneurs to start their own firms. The increase in the number of varieties of intermediate goods leads to positive spillovers to the final goods sector. As a result financial markets allow the backward linkages between foreign and domestic firms to turn into FDI spillovers. FDI provides an inflow of foreign capital and funds, in addition to an increase in the transfer of skills, technology, and job opportunities. Many of the Four Asian Tigers benefited from investment abroad.A recent meta-analysis of the effects of foreign direct investment on local firms in developing and transition countries suggest that foreign investment robustly increases local productivity growth. We propose a mechanism that emphasizes the role of local financial markets in enabling foreign direct investment (FDI) to promote growth through backward linkages, shedding light on this empirical ambiguity. The increase in the number of varieties of intermediate goods leads to positive spillovers to the final goods sector. As a result financial markets allow the backward linkages between foreign and domestic firms to turn into FDI spillovers. Our calibration exercises indicate that a) holding the extent of foreign presence constant, financially well-developed economies experience growth rates that are almost twice those of economies with poor financial markets.