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Parliamentary questions
PDF 42kWORD 10k
1 October 2020
Priority question for written answer P-005382/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Bart Groothuis (Renew), Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Foreign Direct Investment statistics

Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are playing an increasingly significant role in foreign takeovers in Europe.

It is important to have a complete overview of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) data in order to be able to understand this development and respond accordingly. However, the available data show a discrepancy.

The Commission reported that Chinese SOEs were involved in 57 foreign takeovers of European companies in the period between 2010 and 2017(1). Dutch Consulting firm Datenna identified 160 deals with significant Chinese state influence, and 100 more with moderate influence within the same timeframe(2). Layers of ownership, shareholding structures and deals through European subsidiaries hid Chinese state influence. It appears that the FDI statistics from the Commission have limitations.

The European Court of Auditors also concluded that official information on FDI is not up to date, and that it is fragmented and incomplete(3).

1. How does the Commission explain the difference between the number of Chinese SOEs involved in foreign takeovers in the official information and the number in the data from Datenna?

2. Does the Commission agree that the effectiveness of FDI instruments depends on complete and reliable data on FDI?

3. How will the Commission and Member States improve the quality of FDI statistics?

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/10102/2019/EN/SWD-2019-108-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF (https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/10102/2019/EN/SWD-2019-108-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF)
(2)https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-chinas-decade-of-european-deals-state-investors-evade-notice-11601458202 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-chinas-decade-of-european-deals-state-investors-evade-notice-11601458202)
(3)https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/RW20_03/RW_EU_response_to_China_EN.pdf (https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/RW20_03/RW_EU_response_to_China_EN.pdf)
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