ODI: Chinese firms expected to invest in innovation projects overseas
China's outbound direct investment is poised to maintain an upward trajectory in the second half of 2023, boosting the growth of its private companies and contributing to global economic recovery, market observers and business executives said.
Despite facing an adverse external environment, the country's nonfinancial ODI rose 22.7 percent year-on-year to 431.61 billion yuan ($60.23 billion) in the first half of the year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce published on Thursday.
The growth of China's ODI will be driven by domestic companies' improved ODI structure, with investment notably flowing into sectors including manufacturing, logistics and retail, said Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
China's ongoing efforts to expand its institutional opening-up and seal high-standard economic and free trade deals, coupled with the rapid growth of its tech-intensive green product industries, are expected to drive Chinese companies — particularly those in the private sector — to strategically invest in establishing new plants and innovation facilities in overseas markets, said Wang Bijun, an associate researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of World Economics and Politics in Beijing.
These efforts will also encourage domestic companies to build a strong presence through new partnerships and merger and acquisition activities in other parts of the world, particularly in developed markets, Wang said.
For example, Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co said recently that it is in talks with a European partner regarding the establishment of multiple EV battery recycling stations across Europe.
"We are looking at setting up recycling sites — not just one, but a number of them — in Europe," said Ni Jun, chief manufacturing officer of the private company based in Fujian province. Ni added that the company is also looking for partners in North America.
On Wednesday, Guo Tingting, vice-minister of commerce, said at a news conference in Beijing that China's cooperation with other countries will continue to expand, particular in green, digital and blue economy.
China has signed 41 investment cooperation memorandums, spanning a wide range of sectors, with different countries this year, Guo added.
Yang Tao, head of the Ministry of Commerce's Comprehensive Affairs Department, said that apart from helping build game-changing infrastructure projects such as railways, hospitals, power plants and bulk and container ports in countries requiring assistance, China's ODI has been a catalyst for growth in diverse sectors internationally.
Chinese companies' dynamic investment approach has made significant global advances in areas such as trade in services, new foreign trade formats and digital and green growth, Yang said. These moves will help drive economies and job markets in many countries this year, he emphasized.
Earlier this month, China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd — a subsidiary of State-owned China Energy Engineering Corp — announced that it has started building the main section of the Upper Cisokan Pumped Storage Power Plant in West Java, Indonesia.
Once completed, the plant will supply 147.9 billion watt-hours of green power to the Java-Bali grid on an annual basis, said Sun Changzhong, vice-president of China Gezhouba Group's international business unit. It will greatly enhance peak-shaving capacity and power grid stability in the region, he added.