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November 17, 2017

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40.9% fall in outbound investment

CHINA’S non-financial outbound direct investment fell 40.9 percent year on year in the January-October period as authorities curbed irrational investment overseas, data showed yesterday.

Chinese investors spent a total of US$86.3 billion on 5,410 enterprises from 160 countries and regions during the period, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

“Irrational outbound investment was effectively contained,” the statement said, while noting a slightly milder decrease of investment and a better industrial structure.

In the January-September period, ODI had dropped 41.9 percent from a year earlier.

Outbound investment in October fell 29.6 percent year on year to US$8.28 billion, Reuters calculated from official data, narrowing from a 42.5 percent decline in September.

Investment in the first 10 months mainly went to leasing and commercial services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and information technology sectors.

No new projects were reported in property, sports or entertainment.

China’s ODI has seen rapid growth in recent years. However, noting an “irrational tendency” in outbound investment, Chinese authorities last year set stricter rules and advised companies to make investment decisions more carefully.

China says it continues to encourage genuine overseas deals but has vowed to limit investment in industries it suspects is more speculative.

In a document released in August, the State Council said overseas investment in areas such as real estate, hotels, cinemas and entertainment would be limited, while investment in sectors including gambling would be banned.

Earlier this month, the National Development and Reform Commission released a new draft rule on outbound investment, including stipulations on the investment activities of firms established overseas by domestic companies.

Top government officials have recently stressed that China is looking to step up its outbound investment, and is encouraging firms to expand globally as the country looks to play a larger role in the global economy.

Meanwhile, ODI to countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative has been encouraged.

During the first 10 months, Chinese companies invested US$11.2 billion in 53 countries along the Belt and Road, accounting for 13 percent of the total ODI, up 4.7 percentage points from a year earlier, the ministry’s data showed.


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