Beware risk with ASEAN investment Published: 2013-6-26 22:23:01

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have become magnets for Chinese investment amid the global economic slump.

Among the most recent deals, Hunan Province-based Xinyuan Mining Co Ltd bought a license to exploit a 28 million square meter gold mine in Cambodia, and Canxiang Mining purchased equity in a Canadian gold miner's exploitation project in Cambodia valued at $2.4 million.

Chinese investors gravitate towards ASEAN countries due to their abundant commodity resources, lower labor costs and maturing capital market. Despite these advantages, uncertainties for Chinese investors persist.

Although ASEAN members have relatively low debt levels compared to developed economies their debt level still exceeds other comparable emerging economies. In addition, anemic infrastructure inevitably leads to obstructed logistical networks and insufficient facilities. Moreover, political turmoil erupts sporadically in ASEAN members.

The author is Hu Yifan, chief economist at Haitong Securities.


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