Belt and Road to boost Chinese healthcare investment overseas

Ding Yining
A new PwC report says Chinese investors are expected to move away from North America and Europe to increasingly focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Ding Yining

The Belt and Road initiative will stimulate Chinese investment in overseas healthcare, a report released by PwC on Tuesday said.

“The momentum of outbound healthcare investment is expected to continue, supported by a favorable regulatory environment and encouraged by the Belt and Road initiative,” said Sabrianna Xing, PwC China’s consulting partner for healthcare.

“The Asia-Pacific region is expected to become the most vibrant investment destination for Chinese investors.”

The value of healthcare investment overseas by Chinese companies has recorded compound annual growth of 85 percent since 2014 and hit US$4.35 billion in the first half of this year, said PwC’s white paper for Healthcare Industry Investment in the Context of One Belt, One Road.

The developed markets of North America and Europe remain the main target for Chinese investors, who are also putting money into the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore — which is part of the Belt and Road initiative.

Over the past three years, private enterprises have dominated oversees healthcare mergers and acquisitions, with a total transaction value 21 times that of state-owned enterprises.

Chinese companies are looking to introduce advanced medical resources and business models and the bio-medical sector is seen as the most popular sub-category.

At the same time, investors — especially from the private sector — are expected to encounter more obstacles chasing investment in Europe and North America.

The two major trends are seen as investment in cutting-edge technology and in overseas companies to access local and regional markets, Gabriel Wong, PwC Belt and Road Leader and Head of China Corporate Finance.

Chinese companies are seen focusing on chronic disease management, digital medical services and personal health management in acquisitions overseas.

China itself is also expected to attract more investment in healthcare in coming years.

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