(Yicai Global) Aug. 1 -- Outbound investment by Chinese agricultural companies has grown rapidly in recent years, attracting more diverse investors, Zhai Xueling, an expert from the Ministry of Agriculture's Research Center for Rural Economy, said at a recent ministry forum. Many investors concentrate on acquiring cheap land and labor resources abroad and mainly back upstream farming operations.
Outbound direct investment (ODI) by Chinese agricultural groups is still in its infancy and is on the rise, with investment concentrated in labor-intensive and traditional industries, Zhai said.
China's agricultural foreign direct investment focuses on direct imports. The agricultural ODI brings in foreign agricultural products that can replace domestic ones, meaning it boosts imports, but does little to help Chinese agricultural exports, said Zhai.
Outbound investment in dairy, wine, livestock and food industries all follow this pattern, said Zhai. Highly concentrated investment in specific regions or sectors creates significant investment risk, she said.
China's agricultural ODI has increased more quickly than the country's overall ODI in recent years, but still accounts for a small portion of total ODI, Zhai said.