The earning ability of Chinese companies operating overseas remained robust as their profit jumped by 52 percent year-on-year to $137.8 billion in 2017, the Ministry of Commerce said on Sept 28.
Officials said the growing figure is an inevitable outcome of China’s economic growth in a new development stage, as the country’s outbound direct investment has been spread evenly across many industrial sectors, particularly those related to the real economy-such as goods manufacturing, infrastructure projects and service business.
By the end of 2017, Chinese companies had invested in and established more than 39,200 companies in 189 countries and regions worldwide, with total asset value of around $6 trillion, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics show.
This was done through various methods including equity investment, reinvested earnings and debt instrument investment.
Even though some countries such as the United States have enacted laws or regulations to tighten the review of foreign investment, Chinese companies’ “going global” trend will not change, said Zhang Xingfu, deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs.
Chinese enterprises will achieve mutual benefits with host countries, and their desire to improve the global economy remains encouraging, Zhang said.
Unilateral actions in trade and investment activities can only lead to global investor concerns about those countries’ investment environment, particularly the abuse of security reviews, he said.
“As some projects invested in by Chinese companies have already been affected, China will closely follow the development of the situation and assess the impact of the relevant countries’ measures on Chinese investment,” said Lu Shan, deputy director-general of the NBS’ Department of Statistics on Trade and External Economic Relations.
Despite rapid overseas direct investment growth in 2016, Chinese companies have faced growing risks when investing overseas due to fluctuations in international financial markets, economic uncertainties in other countries and restrictions by some countries on investment from China, particularly from State-owned enterprises, since 2017.
Chinese companies have been gaining sectoral experience in many parts of the world, and many of them have already begun to deploy resources to other markets such as Africa, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia and India to establish new market growth points, said Li Guanghui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.