If foreigners are growing tired of the Greater Bay Area, or afraid to invest here, they sure aren’t showing it. According to the latest data from Guangdong’s commerce bureau, foreign investment grew 16.9% in the first four months of the year, at RMB47.61 billion.
While the China-US trade war may have a dampener effect on foreign investment going forward, it is clear from the provincial data that the momentum already gathered will take time to slow, due to the sheer size of many projects. The world’s largest chemical producer, Germany’s BASF, for one, will likely not be going anywhere. It is building a new integrated “smart plant” in Zhanjiang (just outside the Bay, nearer to Hainan), which is set to open in 2022. This is the first foreign wholly-owned heavy chemical industry project in China and the biggest-ever overseas investment project for BASF.
Last year was a good one for foreign investment in Guangdong. There were 107 foreign investment projects that were either new, or involved increased capital in existing projects, in amounts above US$100 million. The biggest included those announced by Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology in Zhuhai, worth US$9 billion, and Exxon Mobil’s US$10 billion chemical complex and LNG station in Huizhou.
Among the most popular destinations for this investment are the three special zones of Nansha, Qianhai and Hengqin. Together they have 17,000 foreign-funded enterprises, with US$19.6 billion of foreign capital already invested. Though small in land size, they account for 17% of total newly established foreign-funded enterprises in the province and 26% of total foreign capital already invested.
Read more here in Chinese.