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Special> Coping With the Global Financial Crisis> Latest
UPDATED: November 3, 2009
Overseas Trade Fair Opens for Business
The expo, which is aimed at helping Chinese companies invest in overseas markets, is being seen as a major milestone in China's unprecedented buying spree of overseas assets

The world descended on Beijing today as the nation's largest overseas investment fair opened for business.

The expo, which is aimed at helping Chinese companies invest in overseas markets, is being seen as a major milestone in China's unprecedented buying spree of overseas assets.

Some 1,100 representatives from 122 countries, including 60 ambassadors, planned to attend the China Overseas Investment Fair, according to organizers.

Participants will be looking to promote their countries and cities to potential Chinese investors.

Chinese companies have remained largely unscathed following the global financial crisis and many have significant investment capital.

Backed by the increasing value of renminbi, Chinese companies' outbound direct investment saw year-on-year growth of 190 percent in the third quarter, to $20.47 billion, which was larger than the total for the previous two quarters, according to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce last week.

The healthy situation for overseas investment in China made the fair popular with would-be participants. Organizers were unable to complete the registration of representatives from Chinese companies yesterday afternoon because so many, more than 1,300, wanted to take part.

The two-day fair, which is being held in the China World Trade Center, is being hosted by the China Industrial Overseas Development & Planning Association (CIODPA), and China Development Bank, with the support from the National Development and Reform Commission, a key planner and regulator of the Chinese economy.

Until now, there has not been such a platform in China for companies wishing to invest overseas.

The Chinese government has been urging domestic companies to "go out" - meaning to invest overseas - for the past few years.

The fair is being seen by organizers as a "new starting point".

"The rapid growth in outbound investment seen in the third quarter shows momentum that is likely to be sustained in the future," said Wang Hongtao, CIODPA's deputy secretary-general.

Professor Li Xiaogang, a researcher on overseas investment at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily he was "both surprised and excited" with the rising trend in China's overseas investment.

However, he pointed out, the overwhelming majority of China's overseas business mergers and acquisitions are done by large State-owned enterprises. Li urged the government to create more room for small enterprises to participate in overseas expansion. Large national companies should also be provided with incentives to help small enterprises expand globally, he said.

At the fair, foreign representatives will hold 20 special sessions to promote their countries. Participants include the United States, Mexico, Australia and Bulgaria as well as cities including London.

Altogether, overseas representatives will showcase some 2,000 investment projects in fields including energy and petrochemical, manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure development, financial service, new technologies and services.

(China Daily November 3, 2009)

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