BEIJING — China’s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) continued to grow as companies capitalize on opportunities overseas, official data on Oct 15 showed.
China’s non-financial ODI increased 16.5 percent year on year to $87.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2015, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Oct 15.
Foreign-contracted projects rose to $137.6 billion during the January-September period, up 26.5 percent from last year. Accomplished turnover climbed 9.2 percent to $100.8 billion, according to MOC.
The fast growth was led by the Belt and Road Initiative, a trade and investment project initiated by China. In the first three quarters, Chinese companies’ ODI to countries along the Belt and Road jumped 66.2 percent to $12.03 billion, accounting for 15.3 percent of total non-financial outbound investment. Singapore, Kazakhstan, Laos, Indonesia, and Russia were among the most popular investment destinations.
Zhou Liujun, head of the MOC Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation, also attributed the rise to the progress in international production capacity cooperation, companies’ growing desire to expand overseas as domestic profits wane, and a reduction in administrative approvals.
Zhou said he had also seen new trends in China’s outbound investment. Investment by non-State-owned companies and local businesses, for example, rose 38.2 percent and 78.8 percent year on year respectively in the first three quarters, making them the main source of outbound investment.
Mergers and acquisitions overseas by Chinese enterprises totaled $20.18 billion, accounting for 23.1 percent of total ODI. The number of new foreign contracted projects valued at more than $50 million rose to 479, 63 more than last year. More contracts in financing and consulting indicated a smooth transition toward high value-added projects for Chinese enterprises, Zhou said.
China became a net capital exporter for the first time last year when ODI outnumbered foreign direct investment (FDI). ODI grew 14.1 percent in 2014, eclipsing the 1.7 percent FDI growth.