Foreign Direct Investment in China

By Phillip Donald Grub; Jian Hai Lin | Go to book overview

1
Introduction and Background
The changes that have taken place in the People's Republic of China since it opened its doors to the West have been dramatic, exceeding the expectations of the most optimistic China watchers. During the first ten years of the open-door policy, China's foreign trade rose by an impressive 300 percent, an unparalleled increase for any centrally planned economy and for most emerging economies of the world. During the same period, foreign investment reached about US $20 billion, increasing at an average annual rate of about 30 percent. Although expectations were shattered by the June events in Tiananmen Square, both trade and investment continued to grow rapidly in 1989 and 1990, with investment committed reaching about US $6 billion in each year.From Kentucky Fried Chicken in Beijing to Lockheed Aircraft in Shanghai, along with other investments including automobile plants, consumer goods industries, hotels, and resource extraction in various parts of the country, technology has been transferred and capital invested by foreign firms at an amazing pace. Each time a new venture is inaugurated, it has been accompanied by numerous banquets, toasts, and fireworks to celebrate the occasion.Structural changes have also been undertaken within the Chinese economy itself. Significant occurrences since 1979 include the following:
Development of special economic zones and opened cities;
Decentralization of decision making at the province and city levels;
Privatization, including the breakup of communes and the return of private homes to their owners;
Authorization of private ownership of property, along with transfer rights;

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