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Outbound investment to BRI countries becomes a new growth area

By Zhang Jie | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-07-01 15:10

Clouds fill the sky at Marina Bay in Singapore on Dec 20, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

The countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have become a new growth area for China's outbound direct investment, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Monday.

Last year, China's non-financial direct investment to those countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative reached $15.04 billion, accounting for 13.6 percent of the total investment, while the brick-and-mortar projects were worth $154.89 billion, accounting for 59.5 percent of the total, said the latest Report of Country Risk of Overseas Investment from China.

The investment risk in the emerging economies is relatively higher than in the advanced economies, but the emerging economies remain the most promising destination for China's overseas investment. Furthermore, the average investment risk in the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative is lower than in the overall risk, the annual report said.

The report rated 114 countries with 18 countries at a low risk level, 68 at a moderate risk level, and 28 at a high risk level.

Singapore took the first spot among the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to attract the most investment from China, and it is also a country with a low investment risk.

From 2019, the intensifying trade conflict and increasingly tense geopolitical environment have aggravated uncertainties for international direct investment and international cooperation in the future, and the COVID-19 pandemic left many countries facing crises involving threats to public health, the domestic economy, external demand, commodity prices and capital flow.

Although some countries have implemented supportive fiscal policies, and also monetary policies to ease the tension in financial markets, moderate risk will continue to dominate the economic outlook, said Wang Bijun, an associate research fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The reported noted that, among advanced economies, the investment risk in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the UK saw an increase in 2020 compared to 2019.

By the end of 2018, more than 27,000 Chinese domestic investors had set up 43,000 enterprises for overseas investment in 188 countries and regions, and over 80 percent of the world's countries and regions have Chinese investment, said the report.

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