Fortune Magazine reports that China is searching the globe for assets to buy with its $2.1 trillion in foreign exchange wealth:
In 2008, China’s investments abroad doubled from $25 billion to $50 billion. Yes, China still lags the U.S., which, as the world’s largest exporter of capital, invested $318 billion abroad last year. Yet in many ways, China has only begun. And it won’t stop anytime soon.
Though still focused mainly on the natural resources that power its economy, China is now, slowly but surely, broadening its foreign-investment horizons. Both the government and private firms are beginning to look beyond the developing world for assets.
Already the Chinese have bought stakes in foreign banks, utilities, and semiconductor companies. This is a hugely consequential step, both for China and for the global economy.
In the first decade of the 21st century, China established itself as the world’s workshop. The next decade (if things go right) could see China emerge as the world’s leading exporter of capital.