Threat or Opportunity?
Studies in International Investment series
Edited by Karl P. Sauvant
Chapter 7: Explaining China’s Outward FDI: An Institutional Perspective
Peter J. Buckley, Jeremy L. Clegg, Adam R. Cross, Hinrich Voss, Mark Rhodes and Ping Zheng State-owned Chinese ﬁrms are busily seeking resources abroad, often with the support of Beijing, which courts supplier states by cultivating bilateral relations and providing aid and other forms of development assistance. The Commerce Ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission have published a list of countries and resources in which investment is eligible for state subsidies. In addition to reinforcing the nexus between the Chinese government and the business sector, this strategy has solidiﬁed China’s relations with many developing countries (Zweig and Bi 2005, p. 27). INTRODUCTION China has evolved to become an important outward investor country over the past decade.1 Annual outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) ﬂows from China grew from US$0.8 billion in 1990 to more than US$12 billion in 2005. This has culminated in Chinese enterprises owning an OFDI stock of about US$52 billion in 2005 (MOFCOM 2006; UNCTAD 2005a). Chinese OFDI is now distributed across more than 160 countries. A variety of explanations have been advanced to account for the growing international presence of Chinese transnational corporations (TNCs) and their global economic and political impact. One reason put forward is the highly prominent role played by the Government of China in nurturing and fostering Chinese international enterprise (Sauvant 2005). Government intervention in China’s OFDI can be seen in four aspects: (1) the high number of state-owned enterprises now undertaking overseas investment projects; (2) the Government-led...
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