YEREVAN, December 18. /ARKA/. Chinese overseas investment rose to $80.2 billion in the first 11 months of 2013, the government announced Wednesday -- exceeding the entire total for last year.
Outbound investment calculated on the basis of deals closed rose 28.3 percent in January-November from the same period last year, the ministry of commerce said, topping the $77.2 billion recorded during all of 2012.
Investment to Russia surged 685 percent during the 11 month period, and also leaped 232.2 percent to the United States.
China has been actively acquiring foreign assets, particularly energy and resources, to power its fast expanding economy.
Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang explained the surge in investment to Russia by telling reporters there were "quite significant projects", without giving any specifics.
Russia's top oil producer Rosneft announced in October it had signed a memorandum with China's state-held CNPC creating the two nations' first joint venture for developing remote East Siberian fields. The value of the deal was unspecified.
CNPC in June also struck a deal to acquire a 20 percent stake in a liquefied natural gas project in the Russian Arctic known as the Yamal LNG.
"China currently is keen to invest abroad, leading to high investment growth rate," Shen said.
He added that in the future the ministry will "try as much as we can" to relax controls on outbound deals to "actively increase overseas investment by companies and individuals".
In September, shareholders of US pork giant Smithfield Foods agreed a $7.1 billion takeover by China's Shuanghui International, the biggest ever Chinese acquisition of a US company.
But an official told AFP that Beijing is cautious of announcing big-ticket overseas investments due to concerns about "over-interpretation" by the media.
The media "often link the deals to the government. But companies don't just listen to us -- they make their own decisions," he added. –0--