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Pattern and Influencing Factors of Foreign Direct Investment Networks between Countries along the “Belt and Road” Regions

Quan He () and Xishen Cao ()
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Quan He: School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
Xishen Cao: School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 17, 1-23

Abstract: With the in-depth implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI), the investment patterns between Belt and Road countries have also become more complicated. The impact of this complex investment network on regional economic development is also growing. To reveal the complexity of this investment pattern, and to better promote the sustainable development of the region’s economy, this paper used the complex network method to study the foreign direct investment (FDI) network of 50 countries along the Belt and Road from 2003 to 2017, revealing its structural and behavioral characteristics and evolution process. The results showed that the imbalance of the investment network structure is outstanding, and preferential selection behavior is obvious. The Central and Eastern European countries show significant clustering behavior. In addition, the network evolved slowly and followed the “Pareto rule” in the early stages of its evolution. The BRI was a turning point in the evolution process. On this basis, the quadratic assignment procedure (QAP) regression analysis method was used to further study the factors affecting the formation process of this investment pattern. It found that economic development level, geographical distance, and bilateral trade were the main influencing factors. Among them, bilateral trade had the greatest impact on the pattern of network.

Keywords: “belt and road” Initiative; regional investment; FDI network pattern; complex network; influencing factors; QAP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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