It has been an encouraging start to 2016 for the M&A teams, with ChemChina finding a spare $43 billion to put in an irresistible offer for seed and pesticide specialist Syngenta. This comes on top of moves for Chicago Stock Exchange as well as Legendary Entertainment from Chinese groups, and whilst Syngenta makes the headlines, nearly $80 billion of deals have already been announced 2016, with last year’s $110 billion starting to look like a modest target to beat.

The recent slow-down in the Chinese economy does not seem to have dented the ambitions for growth and has perhaps increased the need for attention on foreign acquisition. A year ago, the State Council set out their vision for the future growth in ‘Made in China 2025’ and the proposed Syngenta deal by the state owned organisation would seem to tick many boxes. China has a long term security concern over its food production in terms of productivity, quality, and more recently its impact on the environment. ChemChina will be well placed to use their new knowledge to help transform agricultural production which has been unable to keep up with the growing demands of a developing population.

MiC2025 sets out ambitious plans to upgrade China’s manufacturing sector and take a greater share of the hi-tech future by 2025. Whilst the proposals are ambitious, they will be a whole lot easier to achieve with acquisition, and I would suggest this points to a busy few years for those in the M&A world. China has an interest in not only keeping the production it has (about 20% of global supply) but increasing its proportion of supply chain to 70% by 2025. With a focus on Automation, Aerospace, Marine, Power and Green Technologies amongst others – UK companies might well be on that long shopping list.