Global Chinatown still helping cities


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Global Chinatown, the trend of Chinese investment in a wide range of business and real estate opportunities across the globe, is continuing to show endurance, particularly as investors from China drop substantial bucks in American cities.

Globally, including in the US, Chinese investment did decline in the first half of 2014, largely due to significant drops in energy-sector investment. But investment in established businesses and reviving economically depressed communities continue to show strength.

In the August Trends Monthly, the Trends Research Institute reported: “The rise of a Global Chinatown, one of the institute’s Top 10 trends for 2014, is accelerating and it is coming to a ballpark, residential community, manufacturing plant, shopping center, entertainment complex, resort or technology company near you.

“This aspect of the Global Chinatown trend is drilling deeply into American cities that need the economic boost, as is traditional Chinese investment in economic strongholds like New York City.

Look no further than Detroit, as the local NBC News affiliate reported last summer: “Bankrupt Detroit’s thousands of empty buildings are being flogged at rock-bottom prices — and Chinese investors are answering the siren call of unbeatable deals.”

Moreover, municipalities, chambers of commerce, economic-development groups and investment firms across the globe and US are sponsoring events to bring Chinese investors face to face with business and political leaders to pour money into rotting buildings and blighted communities.

And, according to a recent report by The Rhodium Group, “more than $10 billion worth of Chinese deals are currently pending, including the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Lenovo ($2.9 billion), the sale of the Waldorf Astoria hotel ($ 1.95 billion to Anbang), and a number of large-scale greenfield projects (including three methanol plants with a combined capital expenditure of nearly $5 billion).”

Investors, municipalities and businesses leaders still have an opportunity to lure Chinese investment on a wide range of scales, from selling large businesses above market value to buying and restoring decaying buildings. And that potential exists in countries around the globe.

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