Duncan Hwang, Foreign Lawyer, King & Wood’s FDI Practice
class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt">After the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor scheme (QDII) was implemented in April of 2006 to help relieve pressure on the RMB by promoting capital outflows and Chinese companies in various industries in the private sector were encouraged to go abroad, China’s outbound investment totaled approximately $20 billion in 2007.
In the first half of 2008, overseas investment of Chinese companies has more than doubled from last year. This year, Chinese outbound investment has already reached 16 billion euros (nearly $23 billion) according to Bloomberg.
Correspondingly, we have seen an increasing number of our domestic Chinese clients invest abroad for both market seeking and resource seeking opportunities. We expect this trend to accelerate in the coming years as outbound rules continue to be relaxed and domestic companies shift their strategies to compete globally.
This trend, coupled with close working relationships with a significant number of American companies and law firms have lead King & Wood to establish its New York office opening September 9th, 2008. As a firm with an extensive client list in the banking industry, our location on Madison Avenue will serve as serve as a local presence for many of our American clients and also provide international support for our clients at home. Since 2001, King & Wood has made a series of international moves such as San Francisco, Hong Kong, Tokyo and most recently with our Sydney Strategic Alliance at the end of 2007.
For years we have seen U.S. and European law firms expand into China. As the global clout of Chinese companies grows, we will see continue to see Chinese law firms expand with them.