With the U.S. and European Union increasingly concerned about the weight of money pouring in from China, Portugal’s reaction to a $11 billion deal stands out.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa had no objection when China’s biggest renewable energy developer offered to buy out the rest of the former state-owned utility, EDP-Energias de Portugal SA
It was the government in Beijing that stepped forward providing foreign investment for Portugal during the euro region’s crisis in 2011. That has built links that policy makers in Lisbon are willing to expand even as neighbors from Italy to Bulgaria express alarm about the $318 billion
China has invested in Europe in the past decade.
“To understand this position, we need to go back to the crisis years,” said Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at Teneo Intelligence in London. “The government was under pressure to sell state assets to capture additional revenue. Chinese money provided the most attractive option. This created the space for future investments.”