Først eksporterer Kina en pandemi til resten av verden, deretter tilbyr de beskyttelsesutstyr. Og verden takker og betaler.

Kina er nå ledende på direkte investeringer fra utlandet. Mens covid-pandemien er senket utenlandsinvesteringene i USA med hele 49 prosent, har de steget i Kina.

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic amplifies an eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy.

New investments by overseas businesses into the U.S., which for decades held the No. 1 spot, fell 49% in 2020, according to U.N. figures released Sunday, as the country struggled to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and economic output slumped.

Covid kan dermed ha hatt en ødeleggende virkning på amerikansk økonomi også på lang sikt. Demokratisk styrte stater har hatt de strengeste regimene.

USA har hatt et solid forsprang, men trenden er illevarslende: Covid kan ha tilskyndet en utvikling som var i gang:

Foreign investment in the U.S. peaked in 2016 at $472 billion, when foreign investment in China was $134 billion. Since then, investment in China has continued to rise, while in the U.S. it has fallen each year since 2017.

Trump forsøkte å gjøre noe med amerikanske investeringer i Kina, men de store selskapenes økonomi er nå innviklet i Kinas, i den grad at de også ser gjennom fingrene med slavearbeid.

Amerikanerne er blitt oppmerksom på at handel med Kina har et sikkerhetsaspekt. Det gjelder ikke minst når Kina opererer i USA.

In China, the flow of investments by multinational companies continued despite the upheavals of the pandemic, with companies from U.S. industrial giant Honeywell International Inc. and German sportswear maker Adidas AG expanding their operations there.

Hvis USA har problemer står det enda dårligere til i Vest-Europa.

In the West, the European Union suffered a 71% drop. The U.K. and Italy, which have suffered high mortality rates and deep economic contractions, attracted no new investment. Germany, which has fared better on both counts, saw a 61% drop.

Under pandemien har spørsmålet om konsekvensene for økonomien vært lite fremme. Man har snakket om kompensasjonsordninger, men ikke om skaden nedlukning påfører.

Utenlandske selskapers villighet til å satse på Kina, overrasker observatører. De var forberedt på en nedgang. Men Kina var raskere på bena enn USA som har brukt mye energi på interne konflikter.

Walmart Inc. said at an investment conference hosted by the city government in Wuhan, the city that was the first center of the pandemic, that it would invest 3 billion yuan, equivalent to $460 million, in Wuhan over the next five years. Starbucks Corp. is investing $150 million to build a roasting plant and innovation park in the eastern Chinese city of Kunshan.

Tesla Inc., meanwhile, is expanding capacity at its plant in Shanghai and adding a research facility, while Walt Disney Co. is continuing construction of a new theme area for its Shanghai Disneyland park—despite a second straight year of lower attendance at the park.

Medical and pharmaceutical investments have been especially active as the coronavirus hit the global economy. Chinese state broadcaster Chinese Central Television reported in Aprilthat several global pharmaceutical companies are pushing ahead with their expansion in China, including AstraZeneca PLC, which is in the midst of setting up regional headquarters in at least five Chinese cities.

 

China Overtakes U.S. as World’s Leading Destination for Foreign Direct Investment
Flows into America nearly halved as Covid-19 dragged on the economy in 2020

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