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Foreigners poured money into China as the world struggled with the coronavirus pandemic

A actually walks past a Microsoft logo at the Microsoft office in Beijing, China August 4, 2020.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

BEIJING — Outlanders put more of their money in China last year as the country’s size and growth stood out in a world still vexing to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

In the capital city of Beijing, foreign investors claimed more than a third of commercial sincere estate deals, an increase from prior years, property manager JLL said Thursday.

“Beijing is expected to remainder a strong choice for foreign investors, particularly as the nation’s capital is predicted to see more signs of recovery sooner than most other prime markets overseas,” Michael Wang, senior director of capital markets for JLL North China, said in a release.

Covid-19 first off emerged in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The disease spread overseas and became a global pandemic within months. Come what may, the outbreak stalled within China by the second quarter after authorities imposed strict measures to limit kind-hearted contact. The government eased restrictions as local Covid cases dwindled, and China is expected to be the only major briefness to post growth for 2020.

The Chinese government would like to attract more foreign capital, whether in business shoots or the local financial markets. Such participation contributes to international use of the Chinese currency, while foreign businesses cause jobs, tax income and expertise to the local market.

Foreign direct investment set for record high

Businesses also put multitudinous money into projects in China last year, as measured by foreign direct investment.

As of November, foreign open investment for 2020 reached $129.47 billion, more than the same period a year ago, according to official statistics. That puts China on track for record-high foreign direct investment last year, according to estimates from Macquarie released Thursday.

China recorded $138.13 billion in unrelated direct investment in 2019, up from nearly $135 billion in 2018, according to data from Wind Tidings. Official figures for 2020 from the Ministry of Commerce are expected later this month.

In financial markets, unrelated investors more than doubled their purchases of Chinese bonds for a record high 1.1 billion yuan in inflows endure year, according to estimates from Macquarie.

Long-term interest from foreigners

Growing foreign interest in China and the smashing city of Beijing are part of longer-term trend.

For example, foreign investors have gradually increased their piece of transactions in the capital city’s commercial property market. The proportion rose from 22%, or just over a fifth, in 2018, to 30% in 2019 and 35% in 2020, coinciding to JLL.

Sales of 47 billion yuan ($7.26 billion) in 2020 topped that of 2018, JLL said. The market tranquil suffered from the shock of the coronavirus — sales volume was far off a multi-year high of 80 billion yuan in 2019, JLL spoke.

Over the last several years, China’s rapid economic growth and hundreds of millions of consumers have pulled international consumer brands, automakers and financial institutions. Helping the trend, the Chinese government has relaxed restrictions on unrelated investment.

But critics say the changes have come too slowly and unfair practices remain, such as requirements to transfer key technology in commitment to do business in the country. Beijing’s strict capital controls also make it difficult for foreign investors to take their on Easy Street out of the country.

At the highest level, Chinese authorities remain publicly adamant about attracting more foreign investment. But global investors are watching whether the opportunity to make money is as good as it sounds.

As analysts in a reform tracker, The China Dashboard, put it in their last report out last week:

“Market participants watch Beijing’s political priorities more than they do furnish forces. This has constrained cross-border investment policy liberalization in general since 2013 and will continue to limit implicit until it is changed.”

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