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Mingpao: China’s 2023 Foreign Direct Investment Hit 30-Year Low

Mingpao, one of the primary Hong Kong newspapers, recently ran a report on data released by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange. According to the released data, China’s “Direct Investment Liabilities” in its international balance of payment table rose by just US$33 billion in 2023. This represents a decrease of 82 percent from 2022, marking the lowest level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in  China since 1993.

According to data from the Japanese government, net new investment by Japanese companies in China last year was the lowest in at least 10 years, and was lower than the funds flowing from Japan into Vietnam or India. Taiwanese government data showed that new investment by Taiwanese companies in Mainland China last year also reached the lowest level since 2001, with new investment reaching a year-over-year decrease of 39.8 percent. New foreign investment by Korean companies in China in the first nine months of 2023 also dropped 91 percent compared with 2022, falling to the lowest level since 2002. However, German companies’ direct investment in Mainland China hit record high last year.

Advanced economies across the globe have raised interest rates even as China has been cutting rates to stimulate its economy. Thus international companies are increasingly incentivized to store their cash overseas, outside of China, where they can earn more interest.

Source: Mingpao, February 20, 2024