In 2016, Chinese investors made a direct non-financial investment of RMB1.12992 trillion (equivalent to US$170.11 billion, up 44.1% year on year) in 7,961 enterprises overseas over 164 countries and regions。 In December, the direct outward investment amounted to RMB55.8 billion (equivalent to US$8.41billion, down 39.4% year on year). The revenue of contracted projects overseas in 2016 totaled RMB1.05892 trillion (equivalent to US$159.42 billion, up 3.5% year on year) and the newly-signed contract value reached RMB1.62079 trillion(equivalent to US$244.01 billion, up 16.2% year on year). By the end of 2016, the number of laborers dispatched overseas amounted to 970,000, down 5.6% year on year.
Official from the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation pointed out that China’s outward investment and cooperation in 2016 took on the following characteristics:
1. The development of outward investment was sound and orderly and cooperation with countries along the “Belt and Road” became the highlight.. In 2016, Chinese enterprises made a direct investment of US$14.53 billion in countries along the “Belt and Road”; the newly-signed contract value for contracted project in countries along the “Belt and Road” amounted to US$126.03 billion, taking up 51.6% of the newly-signed contract value for contracted project overseas, with a turnover of US$75.97 billion, taking up 47.7% of the total over the same period. By the end of 2016, the number of cooperation zones that have begun to take shape established by Chinese enterprises in countries along the “Belt and Road” reached 56, with a total investment of US$18.55 billion. 1,082 enterprises entered in cooperation zones with a total value of US$50.69 billion, the tax paid to the host country amounted to US$1.07 billion, creating 177,000 jobs for local people.
2. Industrial structure for outward investment was further optimized and real economy and emerging industries won more attention. In 2016, Chinese investment in manufacturing, information transit, software and information technology industry, and scientific research and technical service sector was US$31.06 billion, US$20.36 billion and US$4.95 billion respectively. Among these, the percentage that investment in manufacturing took up among China’s total outward investment has risen from 12.1% in 2015 to 18.3%; the percentage that investment in information transit, software and information technology industry took up rose to 12.0% from 4.9% in 2015.
3. M&A’s role began to stand out and to support structural adjustment while transformation and upgrading became hotspots. In 2016, Chinese business had a total of 742 M&A projects overseas, with an actual transaction value of US$107.2 billion, involving 18 industries over 73 countries and regions. Among these, the number of M&A in manufacturing and information transit, software and information technology industry reached 197 and 109 respectively, taking up 26.6% and 14.7% of the total respectively. A batch of representative projects such as Haier Group’s full control of the home appliance business of GE Company has played a positive role in stepping up China’s industrial transformation and upgrading and the layout of global value chain.
4. Local business played a leading role in outward investment while provinces and cities along the Yangtze River Economic Zone became active. In 2016, outward investment from local business registered US$148.72 billion, taking up 87.4% of the total, increasing from 66.7% in 2015. Among these, those from Yangtze River Economic Zone amounted to US$60.46 billion, taking up 35.5% of the total national direct investment overseas. That from Shanghai, Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province stood at US$25.13 billion, US$13.16 billion and US$10.94 billion respectively, ranking the first, fifth and seventh on the list of outward investment by provinces and cities.
5. Newly-signed contracts for contracted projects with large volume increased, remarkably pushing ahead exports. In 2016, the number of contracts each with a newly-signed contract value above US$50 million reached 815, with an increase of 91 year on year. The combined contract value amounted to US$206.69 billion, taking up 84.7% of the total value of newly-signed contracts. A batch of international capacity cooperation and infrastructure connectivity projects like Ethiopia-Djibouti railway and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were successfully carried out. In 2016, China’s contracted projects overseas led to a total of US$13.3 billion exports of equipment materials.