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It’s not just natural resources. Chinese companies are making strategic investments abroad in financial services and manufacturing. Alice Gartland spoke to lawyers involved in some recent deals

Figures released in September by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) show that outbound investment from China in 2010 reached US$68.8 billion, an increase of 21.7% on the year before.

The outflow has shown no signs of diminishing in 2011. Chinese companies are keen to “expand their markets overseas,” says Dennis Deng, senior partner at Dacheng Law Offices. “More and more companies are looking for overseas investment opportunities,” agrees He Jun, a partner at Concord & Partners.

Outbound activity has moved beyond the well established pattern of investment in natural resources. Chinese financial institutions, for example, are moving abroad with their clients and will start taking “a leading role in the international market”, says Xiao Yong, head of the China practice at Vinson & Elkins.

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