Asia the world’s top recipient of FDI
KUALA LUMPUR: Amid scratchy global economic growth, Asia accounts for nearly 30% of global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, making it the world’s top recipient of FDI.
Generally, developing countries were attracting more FDI than developed economies, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) World Investment Report 2014, which said total inflows to developing Asia (excluding West Asia) amounted to US$382bil last year, 4% higher than the previous year.
In the last two years, top 10 recipients of FDI flows in developing Asia were China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.
China took the lead with an estimated FDI outflow of US$101bil last year, spurred by mega-deals such as the US$15bil takeover of Canadian oil and gas company Nexen by China state-owned entity CNOOC Ltd as well as the US$5bil Shuanghui-Smithfield acquisition in the food industry.
South-East Asia registered slower growth, however, with inflows to the region rising just 7% to US$125bil in 2013, compared to the rapid growth in the regional grouping – from US$47bil in 2009 to US$118bil in 2012.
The report said Singapore was the largest FDI recipient in the region, with new mega-deals driving the figure to a record high of US$64bil.
Indonesia showed stable performance, while Thailand’s inflows grew to US$13bil although many projects were shelved due to political instability.
“At today’s level of investment in SDG-related sectors in developing countries – both public and private – we still face, according to Unctad’s estimates, an average annual funding shortfall of some US$2.5 trillion over the next 15 years following the end of the Millennium Development Goals,” UNDP resident representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Michelle Gyles-McDonnough said at the launch of the report at the Malaysian Investment Develop-ment Authority headquarters.
She highlighted the important linkages between trade and investment, amplifying the need for sustainable development.
-Contributed by Cheryl Pod,The Star/Asia News Network
China’s outward investment to soon exceed FDI, set to be net investor
China’s outward investment is very likely to exceed foreign direct investment inflows this year, making the country a net investor, according to officials at a United Nations body.
This “inevitable trend” will have “great significance in reshaping the economic structure and long-term development” of the world’s second-largest economy, they said.
In 2013, China’s foreign direct investment rose by 2.3 percent year-on-year to $123.9 billion, ranking second in the world after the United States, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s World Investment Report on Tuesday.
“China remained the recipient of the second-largest flows in the world. Meanwhile, the quality of FDI inflows improved, with more into high-end manufacturing and services with high added value,” said Zhan Xiaoning, director of the Investment and Enterprise Division at UNCTAD.
“What’s more, China’s outward investment is more striking,” Zhan said.
In 2013, investment outflows from China increased by 15 percent year-on-year to $101 billion, the third highest in the world after the United States and Japan, the report said.
As China continues to deregulate outbound investment, outflows to developed and developing countries are expected to grow further, it said.
Zhan said, “China’s economic landscape, driven by exports and foreign investment in the past three decades, will change significantly. Outward investment will serve as an important driver for industrial upgrading and economic growth.”
Liang Guoyong, an economic affairs officer at UNCTAD, said, “It is very hard to predict when China will become a net investor, but the trend is inevitable.”
The process will accelerate along with the nation’s fast economic growth, the increase in Chinese companies’ competitiveness and the amount of resources and market share they gain, Liang said.
The change will lead to a more effective allocation of financial resources for the Chinese economy, as the country holds the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, Liang added.
Huo Jianguo, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a Ministry of Commerce think tank, said China’s new role as a net investor will help ease trade frictions.
“The rapid increase in overseas investment by Chinese enterprises is very likely to transform the trade landscape, because profits from the overseas market will lessen the country’s reliance on exports, reducing trade frictions and pressure from swelling foreign exchange reserves,” Huo said.
Contributed by By Li Jiabao and Mu Chen (China Daily)
Outflows from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) rose five percent, with Singapore leading the pack at $27 billion, more than double in 2012. The Philippines’ FDI outflows last year fell to $3.6 billion from $4.2 in 2012.
However, the Philippines is nowhere in the top 10 recipients of foreign inflows in Asia amid the slowdown in FDI in Asean compared with the rapid growth in the past 3 years — from $47 billion in 2009 to $118 billion in 2012.
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