Business / Economy

'Rate hike will have limited impact on direct investment'

By Li Xiang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-18 09:36

China's direct investment in the United States will continue to grow rapidly-and any interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve will likely have a limited impact on future Chinese investment, a senior trade official said on Thursday.

The statement came ahead of President Xi Jinping's four-day state visit to the US starting next Tuesday.

Total Chinese investment in the US was $4.43 billion in the first eight months of this year, up by 35.9 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.

"Investment by Chinese companies in the US has been driven by their long-term development strategies," said Zhang Xiangchen, deputy negotiation representative for international trade at the Ministry of Commerce.

"They will certainly take into consideration the US interest rate policy, but they are more focused on the broader global trend to adjust their business and seek investment opportunities," he said.

China has become a net capital exporter to the US, which was the third-largest investment destination for Chinese mainland companies after Hong Kong and Australia.

Chinese companies made a record investment of $7.6 billion in the US last year, nearly double that invested the previous year. They also completed 93 mergers and acquisitions in the US with a total transaction value of $7.6 billion, according to a government report on China's ODI released on Thursday.

China's ODI growth last year continued to be strong, at 14.2 percent, to reach $123.12 billion despite the uncertainties in the recovery of the global economy and the growing pressure of the slowing domestic economy, the report showed.

Xu Hongcai, director of the economic research department of the China International Economic Exchange Center, said that the rising overseas spending of Chinese consumers and higher investment capability of Chinese companies will drive more capital out of the country.

"Capital may continue to flow out of China against the backdrop of the Fed's (expected) rate hike and the anticipation for a weaker yuan. But we need not read too much into it as a large amount of two-way capital flows will become normal for China in the future," Xu said.

Sectors like leasing, business services, finance, mining and wholesale and retail trade received the most Chinese investment, accounting for 77.8 percent of the total investment.

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