Wong MNC Center Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard delivers keynote address at the “New Developments for Japanese and Chinese Firms” Conference

At opening of the “New Developments for Japanese and Chinese Firms” conference, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Wong MNC Center, delivered a keynote address entitled “Patterns in Chinese Outward FDI and its Implications for Japanese Firms.” Dr. Blanchard started by providing background information on Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from the 1970s through the 1990s, covering its volumes, sectoral destinations, geographic patterns, and drivers at the macro- and micro (firm) levels. He noted government support, direct and indirect, always has been an important force shaping Chinese OFDI (COFDI). As far as the contemporary period is concerned, he pointed out not only that COFDI volumes are increasing, but also that deal size has been increasing. He also noted while Europe and North America are not new destinations for COFDI, they seem to have greater contemporary relevance. As for the sectoral destination of COFDI, Dr. Blanchard highlighted the growing interest of Chinese companies in the entertainment and leisure, food, and technology spaces. He added private firms are becoming increasingly important players in COFDI. Drivers of contemporary COFDI include the need for new sources of growth, a quest to profit from higher-value added activities, China’s increasingly wealthy and choosy consumers, and even China’s anti-corruption and One Belt, One Road schemes. Based on the contemporary situation, Dr. Blanchard highlighted both opportunities and challenges that will emerge for Japanese firms as Chinese firms invest in greater amounts in Japan. He also enumerated a various opportunities and challenges that will emerge from rising COFDI overseas. He underlined diverse issues for the Japanese government in an environment of increased COFDI, too. He concluded by stressing that new patterns in COFDI needed ongoing monitoring, presented both opportunities and challenges for Japanese firms, and required the Japanese government to be proactive in dealing with it.