BEIJING (AFP) – China’s overseas investment almost doubled year-on-year to $9.79 billion in September, the government said Thursday, again exceeding incoming funds even though they recovered from multi-year lows.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) – which excludes financial sectors – into China came in at $9.01 billion for the month, the commerce ministry said, up only 1.9 per cent year-on-year but a significant improvement on August’s $7.20 billion, which was the lowest since July 2010.
China has been actively acquiring foreign assets, particularly energy and resources, to power the world’s second-largest economy, with firms encouraged to “go out” and make overseas acquisitions to gain market access and international experience.
Overseas direct investment (ODI) was up 90.5 per cent in September, and officials have said it could exceed FDI this year. For the first nine months total ODI stood at $74.96 billion, up 21.6 per cent, with FDI at $87.36 billion, down 1.4 per cent.
Over the period, Chinese investment into the European Union soared 218 per cent to $9.0 billion, the ministry said.
For Japan it leaped 150 per cent into Japan, while also going up 69.7 per cent into Russia and 19.5 per cent into Hong Kong, the ministry added, without giving totals.
It was up 28.2 per cent to $3.95 billion into the US. Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang attributed the rapid growth in ODI to “strong market forces” — China’s need to invest abroad and demand from destination countries – along with policy support from Beijing and foreign governments.
“We believe China’s overseas investment and cooperation will maintain a fast development momentum in the future,” he said.
In the first nine months FDI fell 43.0 per cent from Japan to $3.39 billion, 24.7 per cent from the US to $2.17 billion, 18.8 per cent from the European Union to $4.84 billion, and 13.7 per cent from the Asean group of Southeast Asian countries to $4.90 billion.