Podcast #16: Turning Tides - EU Foreign Investment Screening, COVID-19, and Growing Scrutiny on China

Sep 4, 2020
| By Vincent Chow
Foreign investment screening is tightening across Europe driven by concerns over Chinese investment and the pandemic

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Chinese FDI in the European Union has skyrocketed over the last decade, increasing by almost 50 times between 2008 and 2016. However, investment levels have since flatlined and even fallen as a result of both a downturn in China’s domestic economy as well as growing political headwinds in the global business landscape.

In this episode, Caroline Thomas and Jay Modrall discuss the new FDI screening regulation coming into effect next month in the EU, as well as an implementation guideline for the regulation issued in March by the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, in response to the pandemic. On the UK side, we discuss what the country’s foreign investment landscape post-Brexit might look like particularly with a new foreign investment screening regime to be introduced in the form of a new piece of legislation set to be tabled in the coming months.

For the full episode, click here to listen on Apple Podcasts and here for Spotify.

Caroline Thomas is a competition partner at Norton Rose Fulbright based in London with 15 years of experience in advising companies on all aspects of UK and EU competition law, including merger control and state aid. Jay Modrall is also a competition partner at Norton based in Brussels with 27 years of experience advising companies on EU and international competition work, in particular the review and clearance of international mergers and acquisitions.

The China Law Podcast is a weekly podcast exploring China’s business and financial sectors from a legal perspective hosted by Vincent Chow. Get in touch at [email protected] with any feedback and ideas for future episodes.

 Episode outline

  • 01:48 EU’s focus on healthcare sector as a result of pandemic

  • 07:24 New EU FDI Screening regulation and coordination mechanism

  • 13:47 Implications for the UK post-Brexit

  • 15:08 Focus on Chinese investment and political expediency

  • 17:31 Anti-foreign subsidy White Paper and relevance for China

  • 25:05 UK foreign investment review revamping

  • 27:56 Greater complexity and difficulty for Chinese investors moving forward

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