China’s Outbound Foreign Investment Posts Modest Decline Since Start of 2020


The latest official data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) points to a slight fall in China’s outbound foreign investment levels in 2020 amidst the adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the period from January to August China’s outbound non-financial direct investment (FDI) totalled 480.45 billion yuan (approx. USD$71 billion), for a YoY decline of 2.6%, according to MOC data released on 17 September.

Newly executed project contracts totalled 946.94 billion yuan, for a YoY rise of 7.3%, while approximately 183,000 workers were sent abroad for labor cooperation, bringing the number of such workers abroad to approximately 644,000 as of the end of August.

Non-financial FDI in Belt and Road nations totalled $11.8 billion for the January to August period, for a YoY rise of 31.5%, and accounting for 17.2% of the total, or a rise of 4.8 percentage points compared to the previous year.

Non-financial direct FDI by regional enterprises for the January – August period totalled $49.27 billion, for a YoY rise of 5.1%, accounting for 71.9% of all outbound FDI for the period.

Outbound investment by Yangtze River provinces and cities totalled $22.05 billion, for a YoY rise of 13.1%.

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