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What to expect from the Chinese economy in 2023 (and beyond)

China will begin its much-needed economic reopening this year, but this will not stop fundamental geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts affecting the country.

Rory Green, chief China economist at macroeconomic forecasting consultancy TS Lombard, sat down with Investment Monitor to talk about the company’s 2023 predictions and analysis, with an emphasis on foreign direct investment (FDI).

How did investment into and out of China shape up in 2022?

Last year was a slow one for China in terms of inbound FDI. A lot of the stuff that they classified as FDI was basically retained profits or retained earnings. The headline numbers show growth of 15%, which sounds pretty good on the face of it, but most of that was just companies keeping profits in China, not new FDI. Meanwhile, moving money out of China has also been in slowdown. There are a couple of interesting trends that have been around a while that are now becoming more pronounced. Number one is a pullback of Belt and Road Initiative-related investment and lending. Number two is the impact of geopolitical rifts with the West, which is restricting where China can invest in the US, Europe and elsewhere. We are seeing these trends starting to emerge much more strongly in the 2022 data, and these are going to run on for the next decade.

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