China is focusing on Europe for investment. (Photo : YouTube)
China has spent the past few years gradually expanding its roots and influence in neighboring Asian countries, Euro zone superpowers and the United States.
The world's second largest economy is acquiring European manufacturing firms, Italian yacht-makers, British cereal corporations and American hotels. It is clear that China is not interested in extending its geographic borders along Russia's incursion Crimea. However, there is also the creation of a number of man-made islands speckling the South China Sea.
Since the global financial crisis hit international markets in late 2000s, state-owned Chinese companies have focused on acquiring and investing in foreign entities, which effectively bolsters the country's fiscal influence and broadens China's portfolio even as its local economy wanes riling universal markets.
As China's internal growth plans soften, officials have shifted their attention overseas. For instance, Germany's largest domestic machinery supplier, The KraussMaffei Group, announced on Monday, Jan. 11, that China National Chemical (ChemChina) would acquire it. According to the BBC, the deal is valued at approximately $1 billion, becoming one of the biggest transactions between China and German companies in history.
The chairman of ChemChina, Jianxin Ren, said, "The growth potential of the KraussMaffei Group is tremendous, especially through improved access to the Chinese market, which we can make possible."
Ren added that his firm is interested in KraussMaffei's formidable management team and its technological skill, which will benefit Chinese subsidiaries. Seemingly, the company will "maintain its identity and independence."
On the other hand, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) acquired a 2-percent share of Italian power grid operator, Terna. The acquisition broadened PBOC's portfolio that already included investment in Enel, Mediobanca, Fiat and Ansaldo, according to Reuters.
Furthermore, at the same time Terna came under Chinese ownership, Bright Food purchased Weetabix, the second biggest breakfast cereal producer in the United Kingdom.
Reports indicate that China's GDP grew by only 7.3 percent in 2014, which is a sizable increase compared to the rest of the world but representing the country's lowest annual growth rate since 1990. Analysts see 2015's final growth tally will be even worse for China, and a likely negative rebound in 2016 or in the near future.