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China’s ODI Overtakes FDI in the First Seven Months of 2016

China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) totalled US$102.75 billion (C$134.00 billion) and overtook the country’s inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first seven months of 2016, according to figures released at a press conference by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). This means that China’s outbound flow of capital increased by 61.8% between years even as MOFCOM registered a 9.6 decrease in ODI between the months of June and July, with the latter month’s ODI alone totalling US$13.89 billion.

The rise in ODI has been spurred by the large volume of new Chinese overseas M&A activities, which made up US$54.3 billion of the period’s total and were across 63 countries and regions and in 15 sectors. According to figures from MOFCOM, investment of all types was spread across 155 countries and regions during 2016’s first six months by way of 4,797 outward enterprises. The business service, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and mining industries had, respectively, made up 24.6%, 19.8%, 16.4%, and 4.7% of China’s ODI during those six months.

Data from MOFCOM also showed that China’s inbound FDI during the seven month period totalled US$77.13 billion, itself a 4.3 increase over the previous year’s period. Meanwhile, accumulated investment by China in the One Belt, One Road project reached US$51.1 billion by the end of July, or 12% of China’s total ODI. Further recent figures from MOFCOM state that service exports and imports during January-June of 2016 increased year-on-year by 21.5% to RMB2.53 trillion (C$495 billion), and China also sent 991,000 labourers overseas during the first six months of 2016.

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