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4 Aug 2023

Edward White, Financial Times (UK)

China's overseas investment in metals and mining set to hit record, highlighting Chinese companies' intensifying efforts across clean technology supply chain

"China’s overseas investment in metals and mining set to hit record" 1 August 2023

China’s metals and mining investments overseas are on track to hit a record this year, new data shows, as the country races to secure resources to defend its position as the world’s biggest producer of electric vehicles, batteries, solar panels and wind turbines.

In the first half of this year, Chinese investments and new contracts in the mining and metals sector topped $10bn, according to a report from the Green Finance & Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai reviewed by the Financial Times. That figure is more than the 2022 full-year total, and puts this year’s investments on track to exceed the previous record of $17bn in 2018.

China’s investment in the sector includes nickel, lithium and copper projects as well as uranium, steel and iron, highlighting intensifying efforts by Chinese companies across the clean technology supply chain to lock up access to resources amid forecasts of booming long-term demand as the world fights climate change. [...]

The Fudan University data, released on Tuesday, also showed that in the first half of 2023, investments as a share of BRI engagement reached a record 61 per cent, marking the first six-month period that construction contracts accounted for less than half the value of new BRI financing.

While the size of BRI deals has proportionally contracted, Chinese private companies have increased investment, picking up some of the shortfall from state-owned enterprises that characterised the scheme’s ambitious earlier years. [...]

Part of the following timelines

China: Belt & Road and Green Overseas Development

Green Finance & Development Center: China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Investment Report