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Experts: China's outbound investment unlikely to outstrip FDI

Chinese overseas direct investment (ODI), despite a surge in recent years, is unlikely to outpace inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) this year, government officials and experts said.

    Responding to recent forecasts by foreign banks and other organizations that ODI may overtake FDI, they said it is not likely to happen soon, partly due to Chinalco's failed bid involving 19.5 billion U.S. dollars in June to raise its stake in Rio Tinto, according to Thursday's China Daily.

    "The truth is the number of ODI cases is rising, but the volume is still going down, as many cases are still small," said Chen Rongkai, a division director at the Ministry of Commerce, Tuesday.

    Chen said the government would roll out policies to encourage ODI to leverage the opportunities generated amid the financial crisis.

    Last month, the government said it would relax foreign exchange curbs from Aug. 1 on firms wanting to invest abroad, with up to 30 billion U.S. dollars expected to flow out.

    Last year, Chinese ODI was 52.1 billion U.S. dollars, while FDI was 92.4 billion U.S. dollars, almost double.

    "It is impossible for FDI to be easily outstripped by ODI even though FDI growth is negative. ODI growth will be gradual," said Li Jianfeng, macro-economy analyst at Shanghai Securities. 


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