The data collected show the position of China as trade partner of a country, in regards to both imports and exports, and the percentage of the country's goods and services imported by and exported to China.


2015 Source:

CIA The World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook).


2001-2014 Source:

The Observatory of Economic Complexity (http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/rankings/country).



The indicator calculates the percentage of the goods and services exported by a country to China on the country's total exports.



Foreign trade data can suffer from mistakes and omissions and are usually not fully comparable. In other words, exports statistics of a given country rarely correspond to the imports statistics of its trade partner. Reasons requiring particular caution are the following:

1) The Harmonised System (HS) revision adopted by the country: the HS is the World Customs Organisation's international nomenclature to classify goods traded between countries for customs purposes, and has undergone different revisions, i.e. 1996, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012;

2) The official definition of exports and imports may vary between countries, e.g. China calculates exports using the Free on Board definition and imports using the Cost, Insurance and Freight definition, whereas the US calculates exports using the Freight Along Side definition while using only the Value of Goods definition for imports (see Martin 2013 http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS22640.pdf);

3) Exchange rate fluctuations are not always reflected in the trade figures;

4) Low-income countries tend to include re-imports into their import statistics and re-exports in their export statistics even if the UN recommendations state that import statistics should becompiled by country of origin (recommendation8.02), and export statistics by last known destination(recommendation8.09).


For further issues consult the ITC Trade Map FAQ section, Methodology, C (http://www.trademap.org/stFAQ.aspx#li_Answer1_7)



ITC Trade Map (http://www.trademap.org/Index.aspx)



The indicator calculates the share of China's outward foreign direct investment stock (OFDIs) on a country's total stock of inward FDI (Total FDIs).



Knowing that FDI inflow and outflow data are generally recorded in different ways across countries and thus do not match each other, China’s MOFCOM Outward FDI data are used as a proxy for the destination countries’ Inward FDI data, given that many national governments, (especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East) do not publish them. Although the MOFCOM data are known to be of suboptimal quality (see Rosen&Hanemann 2009 http://www.iie.com/publications/pb/pb09-14.pdf, and Rosen 2012 http://asiasociety.org/files/pdf/Asia_Society_China_CA_Investment_Report_FINAL.pdf), they are as yet the most complete and homogeneous source publicly available (the International Trade Centre’s Investment Map also reports them).

The only other comprehensive database is that of UNCTAD’s Bilateral FDI Statistics (http://unctad.org/en/Pages/DIAE/FDI Statistics/FDI-Statistics-Bilateral.aspx), which collects data from the national institutions of destination countries when available, as well as using China’s MOFCOM mirror data if national statistics are absent. This results in dubious comparability between countries, even if the quality of data is seemingly superior to the Chinese ones. Hence it was discarded.


Chinese FDI statistics present the following known problems:

a) Data recording method: China gathers data through local commerce bureaus where companies register their foreign investments instead of mandatory enterprise surveys. This can result in substantial underreporting by firms that wish to sidestep approval procedures.

b) Investment amount: stringent capital controls have favoured overstating or understating of investment amount to disguise hot money flows.

c) Round-tripping: sending capitals to Hong Kong or other tax havens only to repatriate them to enjoy preferential tax treatments. This is, however, not an issue in our case because tax havens are not the subject of our study.

d) Destination country: Chinese data report the first and not the last destination country of investment flows. This is the least problematic issue in our opinion because most of the hot money is likely going towards developed countries after leaving Hong Kong or other tax havens, and to a lesser extent towards the Middle East and North Africa.



2015 Statistical Bullettin of China's Outward Foreign Direct Investment (http://www.mofcom.gov.cn/article/tongjiziliao/dgzz/201612/20161202103624.shtml), and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Statistics (http://unctadstat.unctad.org/EN)