Programme Paper

Lawrence Sáez
  • Spain is a leading destination for Chinese overseas direct investment (ODI) in the EU, but compared to overall Chinese investment worldwide, the inflows are insignificant.
  • The yearly pattern of Chinese investment in Spain is uneven and single yearly investments have a disproportionate impact on overall investment levels.
  • Spain does not appear to have a comprehensive national government strategy to attract overseas direct investment from China, however some regions (notably Catalunya) appear to be taking the lead to promote themselves as attractive destinations for Chinese investment.
  • There is strong evidence that Chinese ODI to Spain is heavily skewed to one region (Catalunya), though such investment choices appear to be partly motivated on the basis of existing infrastructural advantages and availability of domestic networks of expatriate communities in the region.
  • The sectoral pattern of Chinese investment in Spain appears to be in intermediate commercial goods, real estate investment, and the textile sector.
  • Despite the limited availability of long-term data, there appears to be some evidence that Chinese investors are targeting sunset industries, particularly in the textile sector, but the success of these acquisitions has been mixed. Investment in the renewable energy sector appears to be a promising venue for Chinese ODI, though it is premature to conclude that it will be a growing sector in the future.