China Overseas Investments

China’s $1 Trillion in Overseas Investments

China’s current economic problems could spread throughout the developing world.  Since 2004, China has invested over $1 trillion overseas, with much of this spending going into developing economies in Africa, Asia and South America.  The chart below, based on data from the American Enterprise Institute, summarizes all of China’s overseas investments and construction spending on projects over $100 million from 2004 until August 2015.

China Overseas Investments

The Marimekko chart segments China’s overseas investments first by region and then by country within the region.  The chart was very straightforward to create.  I downloaded the investment data from the AEI website into Excel.  From the Excel data, I created a PivotTable with Region in the columns, Country in the rows and Quantity in Millions (investment size) in the data.  I selected the PivotTable data and launched a Marimekko chart from the Excel Mekko Graphics ribbon.  This placed the chart in my open PowerPoint presentation.  In PowerPoint, I combined some of the regions to make the bars more meaningful, created an Other series for the smaller country data, sorted bars and series so that the biggest were on the bottom and on the left, scaled my values from millions to billions, added ‘$’ and ‘B’ as currency and units to grand total, bar total, and segment number formats, added a Y axis title, and adjusted my chart margins.  The process from data download to chart clean-up took just a few minutes.

Here is the chart in SlideShare  (and a bonus chart that breaks down investment by region and sector) to download and edit: