BY SILVI WRITER
The ASEAN region, which comprises of ten countries, has received 56 percent of China’s total investment in the Belt and Road region, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
The ministry’s statistics, unveiled on Friday, also show that China’s investment in the B&R region grew by 8.9 percent in 2017, though the country’s total outbound investment registered a “major drop”.
China’s investment in the ASEAN totalled $81.86 billion as the end of 2017.
China’s commerce ministry unveiled the statistics as Beijing has signaled its eagerness to find other major business partners as its economic relations with the US begins to decouple as the trade war between the two economies continues to escalate.
China’s analysts have said the B&R region is an obvious alternative, especially the ASEAN region, to where China’s investment has seen steady growth.
The 10-country bloc, where consumption grows rapidly, will also see its significance rise as one of China’s major trading partners.
Trade volume between China and ASEAN countries hit a record high in 2017, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Bilateral trade totalled $514.8 billion last year, up 13.8 percent year on year, the fastest growth pace between China and any of its major trading partners.
The commerce ministry’s statistics also show China’s total investment in the B&R region grew from $13.66 billion to $16.71 billion between 2014 and 2017, with 7 percent growth annually on average.
China has invested more capitals into the manufacture industry than any other sector, according to the statistics.