Chinese overseas energy finance collapsed to its lowest level since 2008 last year, with its struggling Belt and Road ambitions in the sector relying more heavily on projects in African countries, reported the Financial Times.
More than half of China’s $4.6 billion in overseas energy lending went to projects in Africa in 2020, data from Boston University’s Global Energy Finance database show.
“I think the story has changed very significantly [over recent years],” said Chen Long, a partner at Plenum in Beijing. “We don’t have a lot of outflows . . . and a lot of places don’t want Chinese capital,” though he suggested countries in Africa were still more receptive than other markets, reported the FT.
China’s overseas lending to energy specifically has declined steadily over recent years. It provided $49 billion of financing between 2017-20, compared with $73 billion between 2013-2016. Lending to Africa made up 37% of total lending in the former period, higher than its 21% share of the total over 2013-16.