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  • Author: Karl P. Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Since China adopted its "going out" policy in 2001, her outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) flows have grown rapidly, reaching US$84 billion in 2012 (although the stock remains small). That year, China was the world's third largest outward investor (after the US and Japan). This performance raises all sorts of issues, especially because state-owned enterprises (SOEs) control some three-quarters of the country's OFDI stock. Three challenges are addressed in this Perspective.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China
  • Author: Ilan Alon, Aleh Cherp
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The motivations prompting China's dramatic increase in outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) are not always clear, especially regarding OFDI by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in energy and natural resources. First, both commercial and governmental interests are intertwined, although not necessarily in lock-step. Chinese SOEs listed in the West may worry about the reputational risks to their global corporate citizenship, while government stakeholders may instead focus on diplomatic international relations. Second, subsidies for oil investments may be viewed as serving Chinese national interests and threatening the national security of the host countries. Whether China's OFDI will benefit or harm global energy security, economic development and diplomatic relations is still hotly contested.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: M Sornarajah
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The legitimacy of investment arbitration becomes increasingly questioned, with liberal states like Australia moving away from the regime. Defenders seek to ensure the survival of this regime of asymmetric investment protection, using a variety of techniques. The conservation of the gains of property protection has resulted in novel arguments relating to the existence of a global administrative law and standards of global governance. These arguments seek to preserve an approach associated with the failure of market fundamentalism and global economic crises. As long as the inequity contained in regulatory restraints of the system affected only the powerless states, it operated with vigor; but with powerful states feeling the effects of regulatory restraints of investment treaties, there has been movement away from the earlier premises of the established regime.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, India, Australia
  • Author: Karl P. Sauvant, Huiping Chen
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: China is the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) host and home country among emerging markets, the United States among developed countries. As host countries, both seek to maintain policy space to pursue their own legitimate public policy objectives; as home countries, both seek to protect their investors' outward FDI. The development of their bilateral investment treaties (BITs) over the past decade reflects this: Chinese BITs have become more protective of investors, US ones more respectful of host country interests. If agreement is reached between both, it would provide a template for future investment agreements.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Nilgün Gökgür
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: There are no up-to-date systematic data on the size, composition, ownership structure, and economic weight of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), so we are unable to assess the impact of SOE performance on stakeholders in domestic and overseas markets. Yet there is sufficient evidence of their expansion, especially following the 2008 financial crisis. Emerging markets, led by China, are now increasingly encouraging their SOEs to expand globally as multinational enterprises (MNEs).
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, China