April 2016.- March 29th saw the presentation of a report on chinese investment in europe prepared by ESADE in collaboration with kpmg, cuatrecases, and supported by catalonia trade & investment, the barcelona city council and word works. The study analyses the chinese economic relationships and trends in the global market, highlighting the major recipients of chinese investments and the country’s main exporters.
The study explains that asia is the third investor in the world and has an increasingly global market presence. China invests in 184 markets and to date there are 15,300 chinese companies established abroad, most coming from the coastal provinces. It is estimated that by the end of 2014 the country had invested a total of $776,500m, creating two million jobs.
Chinese investment in Europe
The chinese market tends to invest first in natural resources located geographically close to its territory. almost 68% of foreign investment china is in asia, and only 8% in the european union. Despite this modest percentage, the eu market is a key destination for chinese investment, which increasingly searches for consolidated and diversified markets. The analysis shows that chinese investment in the eu is concentrated in seven main sectors: energy, real estate, manufacturing, agro-business, financial sector, infrastructure and logistics and telecommunications.
In relation to the eu market, spain receives less investment than other states. However, according to the study, since 2012 chinese investment projects in spain have increased 20% annually and to date 75 chinese companies are operating in the country. These companies include both well established and growing companies (huawei, zte, lenovo and haier, among others) as well as greenfield companies investing for the first time (china construction bank, dalian wanda group or the fosun group, among others). The attractiveness of the spanish market for china lies on one hand in spain’s strategic location, which represents a gateway to the eu and latin america. moreover, china is also increasingly committed to looking for a skilled workforce and solid and cutting-edge infrastructures.
Chinese investment in Catalonia
Out of the chinese investment received by Spain in 2015, Catalonia attracted 40% with 29 companies based here. As for investment value, this came to €610m. Catalonia offers attractive logistic infrastructures in Europe and represents a potential mediterranean distribution hub. Barcelona itself includes – in just a few square kilometres – the port and the airport, as well as more than 500 hectares set aside for logistic purposes. Furthermore, in the area of logistics, Barcelona has Barceloc, a joint initiative of the Port of Barcelona, various global logistics actors and Catalonia Trade & Investment. It aims to attract Chinese and other Asian companies and facilitate the implementation and distribution of their goods in Europe. Thus, goods from China unloaded in Barcelona and destined for the centre of the European continent need 3 or 4 fewer shipping days, with the subsequent time savings in the arrival of the goods to their European destinations, not to mention lower associated CO2 emissions.