Difference Between International and Multinational

Main Difference – International vs Multinational 

Both words international and multinational refer to including or involving several countries or nationalities. The main difference between international and multinational is that the word international is used in a general context while the word  multinational is mostly used in a business context.

International – Meaning and Usage

We use the word International when we are referring to more than one country. International law means a law agreed on by all or many countries. International trade is the exchange of goods carried between countries. An international team refers to a team made up of people of different countries. Olympics, where competitors from all over the world participate, is an international event. The examples below will give you a clear picture about  the word.

She studied international relations at Yale university.

An international treaty was established in 1898.

He worked in a large, international hotel.Difference Between international and multinational

Multinational – Meaning and Usage

Oxford Dictionary defines multinational as an adjective meaning “Including or involving several countries or individuals of several nationalities.” For instance, look at the sentence, “The UN has sent a multinational peace-keeping force.” Here the usage of multinational indicates that the peace-keeping force included people from several countries or of several nationalities.

However, the term Multinational is mainly used in corporate, business world. Multinational refers to a business that operates in several countries. In this context, Multinational can be used  as an adjective as well as a noun.

He is the CEO of a large multinational corporation.

Some multinationals are more powerful than governments.

Note that, the term Multinational companies refer to having investments in other countries but do not have coordinated product offerings in each country. They are more focused on adapting their products and service to each individual local market. Coca-ColaNike, McDonalds Corp., Google and Fedex are some examples of multinational companies. The term, International companies, refer to  importers and exporters, they have no investment outside of their home country.

 Difference Between international and multinational_Multinational

Nike is an example for a multinational company.

Difference Between International and Multinational


International means Existing, occurring, or carried on between nations.

Multinational means Including or involving several countries or individuals of several nationalities.


International is used in many contexts.

Multinational is mostly used in a business context.


An International company does not have investment outside the home country.

A Multinational company has investments in other countries.

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