Limited Payoff for China’s Investment in Central and Eastern Europe

Limited Payoff for China’s Investment in Central and Eastern Europe
Czech President Milos Zeman and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the Prague Castle, Czech Republic, March 29, 2016 (AP photo by Petr David Josek).

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Czech Republic, where he signed more than 30 deals worth nearly $4 billion. In an email interview, Richard Turcsanyi, the deputy director of the Institute for Asian Studies, Bratislava, discussed Chinese investment in Central and Eastern Europe.

WPR: How extensive is Chinese investment in Central and Eastern Europe, and what factors are driving China’s investment strategy there?

Richard Turcsanyi: To begin with, it is extremely difficult to establish unequivocally the amount of investments from one country in another’s economy. Various statistical sources notoriously show differences. Putting together the numbers from a range of publicly available sources, however, we can roughly estimate Chinese investments in the 16 Central and Eastern European countries to be between 5 billion and 10 billion euros, depending on the applied methodology.

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