China’s ODI grows 44.1% last year

China’s non-financial outbound direct investment increased 44.1 percent year on year to US$170.11 billion in 2016, official data showed yesterday.

Chinese companies invested in 7,961 overseas enterprises in 164 countries and regions last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The Belt and Road initiative — reviving the Silk Road on land and at sea — was a strong boost to cooperation between Chinese and foreign firms.

Outbound investment to countries involved in the initiative totaled US$14.53 billion last year, said Han Yong, an official with the commerce ministry.

Chinese companies have especially paid attention to the real economy and emerging industries for outbound investment, said Han.

Up to 18.3 percent of the ODI went to manufacturing in 2016, up from 12.1 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, Chinese companies carried out 197 overseas mergers and acquisitions in the manufacturing sector last year, accounting for 26.6 percent of the total.

In the same period, 12 percent of China’s total ODI was invested in information transmission, software and information technology services, and 109 overseas M&A deals related to the sector were announced.

Han said overseas M&A had facilitated China’s economic restructuring and industrial upgrading.

In December alone, the country’s ODI declined 39.4 percent from the same period of 2015 to US$8.41 billion, according to the ministry.

Regulators are also looking out for risks brought by “irrational tendencies” amid rapid outbound investment growth and are examining irregularities in such investments.

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