Chinese investment in UK hits $5b

Nearly one-third of Chinese EU investment flows into Britain.

Chinese investment in the UK hit $5.1 billion in the past year, according to figures released by Baker & McKenzie.

It took the total Chinese investment in UK firms to £13 billion across the past three years. Across the EU 153 separate deals represented $18 billion of Chinese investment last year.

The report Reaching New Heights suggests Europe, and particularly the UK, has become a top target for Chinese firms looking to invest abroad.

After the UK the most popular destinations for investment were Italy ($3.5b), the Netherlands ($2.3b) , Portugal ($2b) and Germany ($1.6b).

After a dip in investment in 2013, due mainly due a drop in energy and materials funding, the European market was revitalised in 2014. Agriculture and food ($4.1b), was the most buoyant sector during the recovery.

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Baker & McKenzie global head of M&A Tim Gee called the UK’s ability to attract almost one-third of Chinese investment into Europe “remarkable”.

“The statistics underline, once again, the strength of the UK economy, the health of its brands and Britain’s attractiveness as a country in which to do business,” he said.

“That is a great testament to British business, especially when you consider that UK investment in the rest of the world continues to outpace total foreign direct investment into the UK.”

Thomas Gilles, chair of Baker & McKenzie’ EMEA-China Group, added that Chinese investment in Europe has become “much more diverse in recent years”.

“What we’re seeing is the maturing and normalization of Chinese investment processes in line with the international economy,” he said.

Further reading: UK and China – An entrepreneurial match made in heaven?

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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