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Beggars Can’t Be Choosers: The European Crisis and Chinese Direct Investment in the European Union

Sophie Meunier, Research Scholar, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Co-Director, EU Program at Princeton University

 RSVP required by 5PM March 3

This seminar is part of the "Europe and the Global Economy" series.

Virtually non-existent five years ago, Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Europe has surged spectacularly in recent years in an international context of declining FDI globally. While the stock of Chinese investment in Europe is still minuscule, the flows show an explosion in the interest of Chinese companies in being present in Europe, both through greenfield investment and through mergers and acquisitions. This surge occurred concomitantly to the explosion of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the general economic downturn in many countries of the European Union (EU). This paper asks how the European crisis contributed to the surge of Chinese FDI in Europe. In particular, did this surge occur as a result of an explicit strategy formulated by governments in EU Member States in order to dig their countries out of the crisis? The main argument is that the crisis has provided Chinese investors with two types of bargains: economic bargains due to depressed prices and a greater number of assets for sale, and political bargains due to the lessened political resistance to deals that may have been objectionable in flusher times.

Thursday, March 06, 2014 | 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm
Encina Hall Central - 2nd Floor

Freeman-Spogli Institute (FSI)
The Europe Center
Stanford China Program, Shorenstein APARC