JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 654-667.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20200312

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Evolution pattern of USA's overseas investment in agriculture and its influencing factors: Concurrent discussion on agricultural cooperation in the Belt and Road region

LU Yu-jia, CHEN Yang-fen   

  1. Institute of Agricultural Economy and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2019-09-05 Revised:2019-12-31 Online:2020-03-28 Published:2020-03-28

Abstract: Overseas investment in agriculture is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The research on the characteristics of USA's overseas investment in agriculture can provide scientific basis for a better use of domestic and international markets and resources, not only for drawing on USA's development experience, but also for responding and adapting to the investment behavior of major competitors. Based on the Outward Foreign Direct Investment theory, this paper adopts the logistic model and panel data analysis method to study the spatiotemporal pattern and influencing factors of USA's overseas investment in agriculture from 2000 to 2018, and discusses its policy implications for China's agricultural cooperation. The results show that: firstly, the USA's overseas investment in agriculture is mainly distributed on food processing and other pre- and post-production processes, mainly concerning developed countries such as Western European countries, as well as some neighbor developing countries such as Mexico and Brazil. Secondly, USA's overseas investment in agriculture showed a significant market orientation. In the meantime, it is also affected by geographical and cultural distance, national governance and other factors of the host country. Thirdly, in comparison of differences between China and the USA in characteristics of overseas investment in agriculture, considering the goal of China's international agricultural cooperation under the background of current international economic and trade situation, we suggested that China should further optimize the layout of agricultural industry chain, which will advance the implementation of sustainable development goals set by the United Nations and increase China's pricing power and channel control in the field of global food security. Furthermore we should explore the existing overseas agricultural investment market, reduce the geopolitical competition pressure and fully tap into potential market opportunities, focus on the agricultural technology demands of the BRI countries and region, and ensure that investment objectives are consistent with the investment demands of the host country. More importantly, it is necessary to solve practical problems faced with China's overseas investment in agriculture such as large cultural and institutional differences, which will improve the sustainability of agricultural cooperation projects under the BRI.

Key words: global agricultural resources, overseas investment in agriculture, USA, locational choice, the Belt and Road Initiative