China's non-financial investment in the European Union hit 4.21 billion U.S. dollars in the first five months of the year, up more than 367 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Tuesday.
The figures suggest China's investment in Europe has entered a period of rapid growth, said MOC spokesman Shen Danyang at a press conference in Beijing.
He said that the rise is due to Chinese companies' increasing investment projects in Europe, such as the stake acquisition of Italian tire maker Pirelli by China's state-owned National Chemical Corp.
"At the same time, Chinese investment in Europe is also broadening to areas including machinery, autos, real estate, shipping, telecommunications, energy, and finance," Shen said.
China-EU financial cooperation also appears promising, he said, as EU nations including Britain, France, Germany and Italy have all joined the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while the EU welcomes China's participation in its strategic investment plan.
During his visit to Europe last week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed China and EU make full use of a currency-swap scheme worth more than 700 billion yuan to facilitate bilateral economic and trade cooperation. He also said China will improve the RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program, a channel for overseas investment in the Chinese stock market.
Shen added that China's Belt and Road initiative and its Internet Plus strategy, a national digital drive, have much in common with the industrial upgrading and smart city building plans of many EU countries, indicating more room for industrial cooperation between the two sides.