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The distribution of foreign direct investment in China


  • Broadman, Harry G.
  • Xiaolun Sun


Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played a major role in China's push toward a market-oriented economy. Recent inflows account for 40 percent of combined flows of FDI to all developing countries, making China the biggest developing country FDI recipient. This record is impressive, but certain problems must be overcome if FDI is to continue to help sustain the country's record growth rate and further its economic development. For one thing, FDI in China is highly concentrated geographically, and its sector distribution is highly uneven. The authors empirically analyze the geographic determinants of FDI in China. They find that FDI's geographical distribution in China is determined mostly by GNP, infrastructure development, level of general education, and coastal location. Althoughthe sectoral distribution of FDI is coming into line with the rest of the world, in the past, FDI has been biased toward speculative types of investment, especially in the real estate sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadman, Harry G. & Xiaolun Sun, 1997. "The distribution of foreign direct investment in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1720, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1720

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