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China’s Investment In The Asia Pacific: 2023 Report

China’s cumulative engagement in Asia and the Pacific over the past ten years reached USD 530 billion in 2023, about USD 245 billion in construction contracts, and USD 285 billion in non-financial investments.

Six countries saw a 100 per cent drop in China’s engagement in Asia-Pacific compared to 2022, including the Philippines, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan and Turkey. China’s engagement in Pakistan for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) dropped by about 74 per cent; China’s engagement in Australia dropped by about 66 per cent (see Figure 5).

The countries with the largest growth of China’s engagement were South Korea (+577  per cent), Uzbekistan (+375 per cent), Kazakhstan (+240 per cent) Cambodia (+133 per cent), and Vietnam (+91 per cent).

Preliminary data on Chinese engagement through financial investments and contractual cooperation for 2023 in Asia and Pacific show about 94 deals worth USD 37 billion. This compares to USD 29 billion Asia-Pacific engagement in all of 2022—an increase of 25 per cent.

Of the 2023 engagement, about USD 20 billion was through investment and USD 17 billion through construction contracts (partly financed by Chinese loans). China’s overall engagement shows a steady development since 2021 from the onset of COVID-19.

Deal sizes are getting bigger again, particularly for investments

The average deal size for investments remains high in 2023 at about USD 499 million and has more than doubled from a low or USD 195 million in 2021. It has slightly decreased from 2022, when investment deal size in Asia Pacific was about USD  583 million.

For construction projects, the deal size in 2023 increased compared to 2022 from USD 285 million to USD 401 million. Asia Pacific construction deal size has remained relatively steady over the past 8 years. (see Figure 3).

Similar to the overall BRI, China’s engagement in Asia and the Pacific does not necessarily reflect the stated China overseas engagement strategy of “small yet beautiful projects” propagated through official channels.

China’s Investment In The Asia Pacific
China’s Investment In The Asia Pacific: 2023 Report


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