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Determinants of Chinese direct investments in the European Union

Christian Dreger, Yun Schüler-Zhou and Margot Schüller

Applied Economics, 2017, vol. 49, issue 42, 4231-4240

Abstract: This article analyses the determinants of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) activities in the European Union (EU). Evidence is based on panel Poisson models drawing on two investment monitors at the individual project level. Greenfield investments (GI) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are distinguished. The findings indicate that market size and bilateral trade are the main factors for Chinese investment in the EU. In contrast, business-friendly institutions do not foster FDI. Probably, Chinese investors are risk averse, and prefer regions with less competitive markets. The striking difference between GIs and M&As is related to unit labour costs. Higher costs make the host country less attractive for the establishment of new firms, but do not affect the involvement in existing firms. The sectoral dispersion of Chinese FDI in the EU did not change much since the global financial crisis. Most relevant shifts have occurred in research and development (R&D), where low-income EU countries have become increasingly attractive.

Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2017.1279269

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