Das & Banik: Outbound Foreign Direct Investment from China and India – The Role of Country-specific Factors


Chinese and Indian enterprises have been increasingly involved in international business thereby attracting global attention since the turn of the 21st century. This article examines outbound investment experiences of Chinese and Indian multinationals and compares and contrasts the investment development trajectory for  both the countries. The comparisons and contrasts are made with respect to government policy, motivations for outbound investment, financing of investment, success rate in overseas  acquisition, sectoral composition, characteristics of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the challenges and impact of such investments in the light of differences in economic and institutional parameters between the two countries. It can be observed that there are more differences than similarities in the trajectory of outbound investments by Chinese and Indian enterprises. These differences arise due to the economic and institutional structure and the development path chosen by the two countries. Due to the differences  between Chinese and Indian economic development trajectories, which are unique in many ways, it is not meaningful to make a straightforward comparison of outbound foreign direct investment (FDI) experience of the two countries. Nevertheless, the main differences with regard to outward investment by Indian and Chinese enterprises can be observed in areas such as the degree of involvement of the public sector enterprises, financing of overseas investments, success rate of proposed mergers and acquisitions (M&A), sectoral composition of such investments, investment motives and so on. Various challenges facing outward FDI from China and India are highlighted, some of which could be addressed by specific economic and institutional reforms. The tale of the two countries examined in this article taken together contains important insights for emerging country enterprises and governments on the challenges and opportunities of global business,

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