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Going Global Responsibly? China's Strategies Towards “Sustainable” Overseas Investments

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Abstract:

This article traces the evolution of China's policies aimed at promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainable investments, while assessing the extent to which its regulatory regime has succeeded in influencing the investment strategies of Chinese national companies across the developing world, specifically in Africa and the Mekong region. In an attempt to improve its international reputation, the Chinese government has stepped up its initiatives in recent years to oversee the practices of Chinese companies abroad and reorient the country's policies towards greater corporate responsibility. But while promising, these efforts have been largely impeded by weak policy implementation. As evinced from the African mining sector and the Mekong's hydropower industry, the diversity of corporate actors and their relative autonomy in making investment decisions, combined with lax governance in host countries and a long-standing concern with national development, have worked to hinder the effective regulation of Chinese overseas investments. Yet, that China, as a new country of origin of FDI, and Chinese firms are now making commitments to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability remains significant, indicating an important development in the country's “Going Global” strategy.

Keywords: AFRICA; CHINESE ODI; CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY; MEKONG; SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5509/2013862281

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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