Chinese FDI in the EU: Learning from the Renewable Energy Sector

Francesca Spigarelli and Ping Lv
Publication Date: 
August 1st, 2016

Chinese outward foreign direct investment (COFDI) in the European Union (EU) is serving to integrate the Chinese and EU renewable energy sectors and also is playing an important role in addressing each party’s unique economic and technological challenges in the sector. Regarding challenges, China has become a vital source of support for EU firms at a time when the EU struggles to attract global investment flows in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis. For China’s part, COFDI in the EU renewable energy sector offers it a pathway to access Western markets, European expertise, and various advanced technologies that are still considered the gold standard in the renewable energy area. In this piece, Francesca Spigarelli and Ping Lu examine COFDI in the EU renewable energy sector from 2004 to 2013, providing data as well as illuminating trends and investor motivations. The piece further considers Chinese integration in Europe via FDI as well as perspectives in terms of broad Europe-China cooperation, mostly, but not only, limited to the green sector.

This paper was originally published as: Francesca Spigarelli and Ping Lv, “Chinese FDI in the EU: learning from the renewable energy sector,” Columbia FDI Perspectives, No. 179 (August 1, 2016) and is viewable at It is posted with gracious permission of Dr. Francesca Spigarelli. Copyright remains with the authors and Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment as assigned.

**Posting of this report does not represent an endorsement by the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations and has been done to facilitate research and promote debate about multinational corporations/FDI in and from East Asia.