Why does so much FDI from Hong Kong and Taiwan go to Mainland China?

September 2005
China Economic Review (1043951X);Sep2005, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p293
Academic Journal
Abstract: While the European Union, the US, and Japan (the Triad) supply 90% of global foreign direct investment (FDI) and China is the second largest FDI recipient in the world, most FDI into China did not come from the Triad but from Hong Kong and Taiwan (HKT). Evidence presented in the paper reveals that the unusually large amount of Hong Kong–Taiwan direct investment (HKTDI) cannot be fully appreciated without understanding China''s location characteristics and differences between HKTDI and the Triad FDI. Four determinants of the dominant HKTDI in China are identified: China''s export-promotion FDI strategy, its large pool of cheap labor, HKT''s specific advantages in export-oriented FDI, and their unique links with China (the Chinese connections). Empirical results suggest that HKTDI was primarily motivated by low labor costs while FDI from the Triad was market-oriented. As China''s domestic markets become more open to foreign investors, the share of HKTDI may shrink and the importance of FDI from the Triad may rise.


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