Today its fair to say that the sun never sets on countries that have been touched by Chinese finance. Such is the immensity of China’s influence in global investment that a US-based think tank, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has created an interactive map to chart international financing projects emanating from The Middle Kingdom. The interactive map filters investments and construction by sector, region, country, and year.
According to the AEI, worldwide Chinese investments and construction projects amounted to $209 billion in 2015, and 2016 is on track to top that record. About 30% of total investment went into energy projects, the top target of Chinese overseas spenders for many years running, followed by transportation projects at 27%. This matches well with China’s voracious demand for new energy resources, which it needs to maintain its high economic growth. In 2013, China imported nearly 60% of its oil and 30% of its gas, Foreign Affairs reported.
Besides the US, which remains the the top destination for Chinese investment, there were some surprising locations. The top recipient in Europe was Italy, with over $10 billion, largely due to the $7.7 billion acquisitor of Italy tire maker Pirelli. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Cameroon received about $5.5 billion in investment, mostly in transport, a sector that is in perennial need of financing in the region. In East Asia, Indonesia received about $6.5 billion, as Chinese investors continue to scour the archipelago for new basins of oil and gas.
View Chinese global investments yourself on the tracker, linked here.
The China Global Investment Tracker is the only comprehensive data set covering China’s global investment and construction activity. Inaugurated in 2005, the CGIT now includes approximately 2000 large transactions across energy, real estate, technology, and other industries, as well as nearly 200 troubled transactions. The full list of transactions, including the amount, the parent investor, the host country, and the sector, is available for public use with the proper citation. The tracker is published by the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation.