Investment week kicks off in Dallas

Updated: 2013-10-14 10:54

By Yu Wei in San Francisco (China Daily)

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US investors and industry leaders are welcoming Chinese guests to a week-long, multi-state conference to discuss and explore ways to make Chinese outbound foreign direct investment find its way into the US as efficiently as possible.

The second annual US-China Investment Week, Oct 11-18, kicked off on Friday in Dallas, Texas. One of the largest private investment programs of its kind, the conference, organized by PiYi Investment and the Council of American States in China, is designed to promote understanding of local economic clusters, relationships with local business owners, and foster investment into key sectors that have social and cultural impact.

"This event is a wonderful platform to build deeper understanding and trust, and to demystify the belief that Chinese foreign direct investment is not welcome in the US," said Dan Healy, CEO at Civitas, an asset management firm in Dallas and one of the sponsors of the event. "We got involved because we want to help Chinese individuals and institutions bridge the gap as they invest in the US."

The US is seeing a surge in real estate investment - both commercial and residential - from China. According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers from China are now the second-largest group of foreign investors in US residential real estate (after Canada), spending $9 billion in the year ending March 2012. Chinese commercial real estate purchases in the US totaled more than $3 billion in 2012, data from the Asia Society showed.

On Friday, Chinese real estate developer Greenland Holdings announced it would purchase a 70 percent stake in a 22-acre residential and commercial real estate project in Brooklyn, a project expected to cost nearly $5 billion. In July, the Shanghai-based developer acquired a site in downtown Los Angeles to build a $1 billion project that will include a hotel, office units and residences.

One of the main objectives of Investment Week is to build understanding of local market conditions and to demystify for Chinese people the process of private investment in the US.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from China to the US is gaining momentum. The annual FDI from Chinese to the US was $6.5 billion in 2012, a 17 percent increase from the previous high of $5.5 billion in 2010, according to Rhodium Group, a firm that tracks Chinese investment in the US.

"China's outbound FDI is growing at a rapid rate," Healy said. "This investment, along with the rise of the Chinese consumer, will be one of the most interesting stories to follow in the global economy in the years to come."

Healy said that both countries will benefit from a long-term vision, as China's market continues to liberalize and its companies go global.

The eight-day US-China Investment Week conference will visit four cities, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Las Vegas and the New York City. About 50 Chinese investors are expected to attend events during the week, which will present more than 100 investment opportunities to assess potential targets in the US.

Medicine and biotechnology, agriculture, real estate, new and clean energy technology are some of the hotter investment areas that the conference will highlight.

"We have noticed that Chinese investors have showed intense interest in real estate and new energy," Healy said.

(China Daily USA 10/14/2013 page1)