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.
Chinese investors channeled capital into 6,128 overseas firms in 156 countries and regions in 2014, with outbound investment reaching 102.89 billion U.S. dollars, up 14.1 percent 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 percent 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.
Policymakers and investors were not prepared for a reality that after more than three decades on steroids, the world’s second-largest economy has been transitioned to a “new normal” of slower growth.
The market, crazy about speed and figures, seems to have missed the reality that the Chinese economy is healthier under the “new normal” featuring positive trends of stable growth, an optimized structure, enhanced quality and improved social welfare.
China’s sound economic fundamentals have not changed and the government will maintain macro-policies appropriate, Premier Li said during a meeting with Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF on Tuesday.
The improvement of the quality and efficiency of the Chinese economy and its upgrading will make important contributions to maintaining the stability and healthy development of the world economy and finance, Li said.
The Chinese economy, shifting focus to consumption and investment from polluting heavy industry and manufacturing via complex reforms, will continue to function as a vital ballast for the world economy.
Besides, Beijing aims to create an open capital market by pushing ahead with a broad range of financial reforms to allow more foreign investment and encourage Chinese players to invest abroad. The more transparent and efficient allocation of the Chinese capital will have a positive effect on the global market.
In the process, China has proposed or promoted a host of initiatives and plans, such as the initiatives on the Silk Road Economic Zone, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the BRICS Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
It is fair to say that China’s capital export is creating life blood for the global economy to avoid the risk of declining.
In light of financial difficulty faced by Asia in realizing inter-connectivity and mutual access, China has pledged to contribute 40 billion U.S. dollars to setting up a Silk Road Fund to provide financial support for infrastructure construction, resources exploration and industrial cooperation for countries along the “One Belt and One Road.”
It is estimated that in the next decade, China’s outbound investment will total 1,250 billion dollars, giving more impetus to the worlds’ economic growth.