China’s record investment in Europe and US

© Carlos Barria
Chinese investment in Europe and the US has reached a record high of $38 billion last year, reports the Financial Times, citing a report from law firm Baker & McKenzie and consultants Rhodium Group.

State-owned and private businesses invested an unprecedented $23 billion in Europe (including Norway and Switzerland as well as the EU). The US saw $15 billion in investments from China.

Of all the EU countries Italy attracted the most Chinese investment, mainly due to the $7.9 billion deal between Pirelli and ChemChina. New York, California and Texas received the most investment in the US.

This year Chinese investment in western economies could break the record again. Chinese groups have already announced $70 billion in potential deals.

However, the report showed the pace of Chinese investment in western economies might be slowing. Investment in Europe grew 28 percent last year, but growth had doubled in 2014 compared to the previous year.  

Chinese investment comes amid concerns over the country’s economic slowdown. The growth of the world’s second-largest economy was down to 6.9 percent in 2015, the slowest pace in 25 years.

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“These are turbulent economic times and yet we see Chinese companies acting with confidence and continuing to make major moves in Europe and North America,” said Michael DeFranco, chair of Baker & McKenzie’s M&A practice.

China is expected to become the world’s biggest overseas investor by 2020, according to research by Rhodium Group and Germany’s Mercator Institute for China Studies. The research issued last June showed Beijing’s global offshore assets will likely triple from $6.4 trillion to more than $20 trillion over the next five years.