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China’s outward investment flows have expanded enormously over the past decade. This has led to predictions, often from China, that its outward investment will soon exceed its inward investment. These predictions have been taken up outside China, and have been recycled in the Western media, including the Financial Times and the Economist among many others.
The day China becomes a net exporter of foreign direct investment (FDI) will have both symbolic and real importance. While not on the same level of importance as the moment when China becomes the largest economy in the world (according to the IMF, on a PPP basis China already is the largest economy), it will nevertheless be seen as symbolic of the increasing importance of the Chinese economy in the world. It would arguably also mark a real point of change where Chinese companies are competing on level terms with their international counterparts.
The prediction that this […]

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