Chinese investments in Southern Europe's energy sectors: Similarities and divergences in China's strategies in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain
China's Foreign Direct Investment in Europe has experienced a significant surge over the last decade. Southern European countries have not missed out on this trend and have gradually consolidated as important recipients of Chinese investments. This has allowed them to accumulate 23.5% of all Chinese FDI to Europe between 2000 and 2014 (10.8 billion Euro). The energy sectors of all four countries have been primary beneficiaries. Chinese entities have carried out impressive acquisitions in the Italian and Portuguese energy markets. In contrast, their presence in the Greek and Spanish energy markets has been discrete. In parallel, the penetration of Chinese investments in Italy and Spain's subsectors of renewable energies has been more prominent than in the Greek and the Portuguese ones. The former two countries have received significant investments in solar-related greenfield projects, whereas the latter have mostly benefited from operations in wind-related ones. The influence of Chinese ergy policies and promoting foreignntities has had an impact on the markets of all four countries. This trend is not consolidated. Data suggests that Chinese investments have been highly opportunistic. Athens, Rome, Lisbon and Madrid should see China's penetration in their markets as a mix bag of opportunities and challenges that demands better informed analysis.
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