The purpose of this paper is to indicate trade characteristics of Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in China and examine the dynamic interaction between FDI inflows and China’s international trade through empirical analysis.
At first, this paper builds the probability distribution model (Poisson and negative binomial (NB)) to capture the characteristics of spatial distribution of all kinds of FDI firms in Chinese cities and provinces based on count data, so as to indicate the potentials for further introducing FDI inflows in China; Second, this paper investigates the effects of trade on FDI firms inflows based on probability regress model (Binary Logit, Tobit, NB, Poisson, zero inflated negative binomial) and shows how international trade accelerates the different kinds of FDI firms to agglomerate in Eastern, Middle and Western region by the endowments of factors; third, this paper empirically examines the magnitude and characteristics of trade effects generated by FDI inflows by building dynamic panel model based on continuous data.
First, statistical tests of probability distribution model based on count data show that there are characteristics of spatial agglomeration of FDI firms such as manufacture firm, R & D firm, managing and marketing firm and total sectors, which obey NB distribution as whole; Second, this study indicate that FDI inflows have strong positive effects on the international trade in China’s provinces and on China’s regional trade, and that most of foreign firms in China are export oriented being strongly characterized as labor-intensive industries, especially, contributions of FDI to imports are greater than the contributions of FDI to exports in China’s Middle and Western trade, and the growth of FDI trade in China’s trade volume has been strong over the past years; third, the empirical results of models based on count data and continuous data indicate that FDI inflows have significantly positive relationship with international trade, that is, the relationship between FDI and international trade in the case of China is the characteristics with complement and imports substituting relationship.
Because of mixed data set for FDI inflows of processing and assembling trade and production-oriented FDI, efficiency-seeking and knowledge or technology – intensive FDI inflows in the past 36 years, the paper only investigate characteristics of FDI inflows in China before the turning point of financial crisis, but it is important for capturing the whole picture of trade characteristics of FDI inflows in China.
The derived quantitative results imply that there are still greater potentials for further introducing FDI inflows in China, and decision-maker should make policy of introducing FDI inflows which are favorable to supporting innovative activities and economic agglomeration, and preferably encourage efficiency-seeking and export-oriented FDI inflows so as enhance quality and efficiency of economic growth, which are also helpful to accelerate upgrade of Chinese industry and gradually shorten gap of growth among Eastern, Middle and Western region.
FDI inflows in China not only stimulate the remarkable growth of bilateral trade between host country and home country, but also promote the growth of international trade between China and the rest of the world. Thus, policies of bilateral or multilateral free-trade and investment area should be encouraged, which will be also favorable to promote the growth and welfare in all the regions.
This paper demonstrates that spatial distributions of FDI firms in Chinese cities and provinces obey NB probability distribution pattern, and puts forward the methodology of model based on count data and continuous data. Besides, this paper quantitatively indicates trade characteristics of FDI inflows in China as well as the dynamic interaction between FDI inflows and China’s international trade.
JEL Classification — C4, F14, F21, F23
The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments and advices in the process of revision of this paper, and also many thanks to the supporting by the National Social Science Foundation of China, Grant No. 15BJY075.
Li, X. and Park, S. (2016), "Trade characteristics of foreign direct investment inflows in China: Empirical evidences from China", China Finance Review International, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 177-207. https://doi.org/10.1108/CFRI-12-2014-0100Download as .RIS
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