he Ministry of Commerce revealed on January 20 that China’s overseas direct investment reached 936.7 billion yuan (US$145.2b) in 2021, a 2.2 percent increase on 2020 figures.
Ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting said in a press conference the same day that China has greatly increased investment in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative in 2021, investing a total of US$20.3 billion in 2021, a 14.1 percent growth year-on-year. Meanwhile, the number of big overseas projects rose by 46 to 560, concentrated in transportation infrastructure.
Overseas trade cooperation was also promoted in 2021. By the end of 2021, China had set up overseas trade cooperation zones in 46 countries with total investment of US$50.7 billion, Shu said. Those zones have provided 392,000 jobs for the host countries.
According to a 2021 report on China’s overseas investment published by Ernst & Young on February 10, China’s ODI by deal value is concentrated in TMT (technology, media and entertainment, telecommunication), real estate, hospitality, advanced manufacturing and transportation. By deal volume, the top three sectors were TMT, healthcare and life sciences and financial services. The latter grew particularly driven by the pandemic. The report predicted that Chinese enterprises will more deeply participate in the restructuring of international industrial chains with their advantages in manufacturing and will increase investment in digital and green medical services and other green and sustainable fields.