Business / Macro

China now a net capital exporter

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-21 14:08

BEIJING - China has become a net capital exporter for the first time, with outbound direct investment outnumbering capital inflows in 2014.

Chinese investors channeled capital into 6,128 overseas firms in 156 countries in 2014, with outbound investment reaching $102.89 billion, 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. This is the first time the two-way nominal capital flows have been near a balance.

It marks the rise of new growth engines amid a slowing economy in China.

"If the Chinese firms' investment through third parties were included, the total ODI volume would reach about $140 billion, which means China is already a net outbound investor now, " said Shen Danyang, spokesman with MOC.

Chinese investors buying real estate, businesses and other assets overseas while growth at home is slowing. The country registered its slowest expansion pace in 2014 in 24 years, according to the GDP data released Tuesday.

"The booming ODI is mainly driven by Chinese firms' growing ambition and hunger for new opportunities, pulled by countries' worldwide thirst for investment and facilitated by the government's supportive policies," Shen said.

"Therefore, this is not the speculated government-pushed 'Marshall Plan'," Shen added.

Mergers and acquisitions are more diversified in investment projects and fields in 2014, with energy and mining sectors still being hot spots and with active acquisitions in manufacturing. Breakthroughs were also made in the agricultural sector, according to Shen.

Meanwhile, a better industrial investment structure is taking shape, with leasing and commercial service, mining and retail and wholesale business the top three key overseas investment sectors.

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