Employees are working on the WEY Tank 300 SUV production line at a Great Wall Motors factory on January 19, 2021 in Chongqing, China.
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
The Chinese economy brought in more foreign direct investment than any other country last year, pushing the United States off the top of the list.
China brought in $ 163 billion in inflows last year, compared to $ 134 billion raised by the US, the UN Conference on Trade and Development wrote in a report released on Sunday. In 2019, the US received $ 251 billion in inflows and China $ 140 billion.
Overall, the report found that foreign direct investment is on the rise globally as the Covid-19 pandemic has virtually stalled countries large and small.
Foreign direct investment fell 42% in 2020 to $ 859 billion, a drop of 30% even from the low point of the 2009 financial crisis. The economic measure takes into account investments in one country by people and businesses in other countries, such as the construction of a factory or the opening of a satellite office.
Developed countries were hit harder last year than so-called “developing countries”. Investments in the US fell by 49%, slightly less than the 69% average in developed countries.
Foreign direct investment in developing countries fell by a relatively modest 12%. China, which is on that list, even saw a small increase of 4% in its influx.
According to the report, the European Union saw a two-thirds decline in foreign direct investment and the United Kingdom saw no new inflows. The UK has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus.
China managed to get the coronavirus largely under control within its borders last year, despite being the first country to be hit by the deadly disease.
Strict lockout measures, early mass testing, and an abundance of personal protective equipment are attributed to the relatively low death toll in the country.
Since the onset of the pandemic, China has had fewer than 100,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and about 4,800 deaths from the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The US, which has a much smaller population, has had nearly 25 million cases and more than 400,000 deaths.
Despite China outpacing the US in the flow of foreign direct investment in 2020, the total stock of foreign investment in the US remains much larger than in China, according to data compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Other economic data has also suggested that China has been hit the hardest by the pandemic than its peers. Beijing reported 2.3% GDP growth in 2020 earlier this month and is expected to be the only major economy to report positive annual growth.
The United Nations report comes a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum. President Joe Biden is not expected to attend the event.
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