his posh office in a coastal city in eastern China, millionaire Zhou Jiaru oversees more than 100 workers at an auto parts refurbishing factory he purchased in a struggling manufacturing town on the other side of the world.
The Chinese entrepreneur bought it from Richard Lovely, a 56-year-old industrial engineer and mechanic who says his business was in dire straits because of competition from abroad.
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, January 28, 2008; Page A01
Zhou’s 85 percent stake in the company now known as GSP North America is one example of how the weak dollar and weakening U.S. economy have made the United States a bargain for overseas companies shopping for investments.
In 2007, acquisitions in the United States by foreign ventures hit $407 billion, up 93 percent from the previous year, according to Thomson Financial. The top countries investing were Canada, Britain and Germany; the Middle East and Asia — especially China — are quickly catching up.
The biggest deals in recent months have involved Wall Street firms hit by losses from exposure to mortgage-related investment vehicles.