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Chinese outbound investment enters 'golden era': Think tank report

CRIENGLISH.com | Updated: 2016-11-25 07:41

A Chinese think tank is suggesting the country's outbound investment has entered a "golden era" of growth, despite a perceived rise in trade protectionism in various parts of the world.

The Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization, a government-affiliated think tank, has published a new report on Chinese outbound investment.

The Blue Book of Chinese Enterprise Globalization shows that Chinese companies invested a record $145.6 billion abroad last year, continuing a trend of growth over the past decade.

Wang Huiyao is one of the authors of the report.

"We saw three highlights in China's outbound investment over the last year. One, for the first time, China has seen a net outflow of capital. Two, we have surpassed Japan to become the second largest source of foreign investment in the world. And finally, China's investment in the United States has surpassed US investment into China."

The report also shows outbound investment by countries around the world has rebounded to levels seen before the financial crisis hit in 2009.

The bluebook notes total foreign direct investment globally last year reached $1.76 trillion, an annual growth of 38 percent.

This comes against a backdrop of percieved increasing trade protectionism in certain parts of the world, evidenced by the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US.

Trump has already announced he will withdraw the US from the Trans-pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries.

However, He Weiwen with the China Center for Globalization suggests the numbers point to globalization as an irreversible and unstoppable trend.

"I don't think we will see a reversal of globalization because it is an economic law. No political intervention can fundamentally maneuver economic laws. Globalization is based on the division of responsibilities in modern mass production. It must lead to the optimal cross-border utilization of resources to create industry chains. "

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiatives – a plan to revive trade among China and countries along the ancient Silk Road and the maritime Silk route.

In putting together its latest report, the CCG has surveyed a number of Chinese companies investing abroad under the Belt and Road Initiatives.

More than 70 percent of them say they're optimistic about the investment prospects in their destination countries.

Nearly half of them say they plan to increase their investment in those countries.

Analysis suggests the Belt and Road Initiatives are creating a new impetus for Chinese companies to invest abroad, likely leading to even greater outflows of investment, both in quantity and quality.

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