BEIJING (Xinhua) – For the first time in its history, China has become a net capital exporter with outbound direct investment outnumbering foreign direct investment in 2014, presenting new opportunities for win-win cooperation with the rest of the world.
At the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled for Jan 21-24 in Davos, Switzerland, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will expound on the Chinese economy’s “new normal.”
Chinese investors channeled capital into 6,128 overseas firms in 156 countries and regions in 2014, with outbound investment reaching 102.89 billion US dollars, up 14.1 per cent from a year earlier, according to a press conference by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday.
Growth was much faster than the 1.7 per cent gain recorded in foreign direct investment, which was 119.6 billion dollars. This is the first time the two-way nominal capital flows have been near a balance.
“If the Chinese firms’ investment through third parties were included, the total ODI volume would reach about 140 billion dollars, which means China is already a net outbound investor,” said Shen Danyang, spokesman with MOC.
Chinese investors are investing in real estate, businesses and other assets overseas while growth at home is slowing. The country registered the slowest expansion pace in 2014 in 24 years, according to the GDP data released Tuesday.
The slowdown comes at a vulnerable time for the world economy – the eurozone is still at risk of another recession, the Abenomics has failed to drag Japan out of the mire, and investors are pulling out of emerging market funds.