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Investment in US 'set for record year'

By Chen Weihua and Li Jiabao  (China Daily)

08:04, July 30, 2012

Landmark deals highlight strategy, analysts believe

Chinese investment in the United States is expected to hit a record high this year, thanks largely to big-ticket items, according to a report from the Rhodium Group, a New York-based organization that analyzes global trends.

Chinese foreign direct investment, or outbound FDI, in the US reached $3.6 billion in the first half of this year, and covered 33 projects, the report said.

Of these, 12 were acquisitions and 21 involved green-field investments (the construction of new facilities).

The first six months of 2012 saw a record investment for any half year from China.

Thilo Hanemann, research director for Rhodium, which monitors Chinese FDI in the US, said that the large-scale investments could make 2012 a record year, beating the $5.7 billion record set in 2010.

Ge Shunqi, deputy head of the Institute of International Economics at Nankai University in Tianjin, told China Daily that with the US economy trying to get out of the doldrums, investment from China is particularly welcomed.

"Chinese investment in the US offers great potential and will help stabilize growth in the next decade."

Sang Baichuan, director of the Institute of International Business at the University of International Business and Economics, believed that a new era was dawning. "After decades of growth, Chinese enterprises are capable of entering the developed US market and China's large foreign reserves will also be of benefit.''

Ge agreed and identified key investment sectors. "Investment in the US will bring differing returns to Chinese enterprises.

"Some enterprises will enjoy easier access to the US market and lower costs while others will acquire natural resources as well as high-end technology resources.''

Ge added that "high-end manufacturing and public infrastructure will be the key areas for Chinese investment in the US" as the US embarks on reindustrialization.

Major projects targeted by Chinese FDI this year include the $2.5 billion purchase by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, of a one-third stake in five shale oil and gas fields across the US from Ohio-based Devon Energy.

Copper-tube producer Golden Dragon also broke ground on a $100 million manufacturing facility in Wilcox County, Alabama.

The banking sector also saw movement with the acquisition by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China of 80 percent of Bank of East Asia's US operations for $140 million.

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