China says overseas investments by its companies reached a record high of $145 billion last year, stressing that it has now clearly taken over Japan to become the world’s second-biggest cross-border investor after the US.
According to a joint report released by China's Ministry of Commerce, National Bureau of Statistics and State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the overseas investments of Chinese companies in 2015 rose by 18.3 percent compared to the previous year.
The report also emphasized that China has contributed almost ten percent of global direct investment.
Outbound direct investment by China's financial institutions rose 26 percent last year to $24.4 billion, it said as reported by the website of Russia Today news channel.
"We think Chinese companies' overseas takeovers can help them acquire high-end production elements such as design, research and development, marketing and service to upgrade their positions in the global value, industrial, logistics chains," RT.com quoted Zhang Xiangchen, the representative of China’s Commerce Ministry, as telling reporters on Thursday.
The Ministry further emphasized that the Chinese firms last year conducted mergers and acquisitions worth $54.4 billion. The number, it added, surged to $61.7 billion in the first eight months of the current year.
Russia Today further quoted an announcement by Baker & McKenzie and consultants Rhodium Group as showing that China’s investment in Europe and the US reached a record high of $38 billion last year.
The largest amount of Chinese investments had been made in Italy.
The investments by Chinese companies in Western economies in 2016 are expected to break the record again.
Chinese groups have already announced $70 billion in potential deals. The country is expected to become the world’s biggest overseas investor by 2020, Russia Today added.