China's overseas investment increased rapidly from around 2004. Since then, Chinese companies and financiers have faced a steep learning curve. Many companies with limited or no experience operating overseas became involved in major projects in countries with which they were not familiar. While some have implemented overseas projects without major problems, others were unprepared for or unable to deal with issues that emerged. In some cases, this has led to social and environmental harms, conflict with local people and other problems, all of which have caused reputational?and sometimes financial?damage to Chinese investors and the state.
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