Professor Chunlai Chen is an applied economist in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. He holds a BSc. from Beijing Forestry University (China), MPA from Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University (USA), and PhD from the University of Adelaide (Australia).

 He is an expert in foreign direct investment, international trade, agricultural economics, and rural development with an emphasis on China’s economy.

Before moving to Australia, Professor Chen worked in Rural Development Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for more than ten years. He provided systematic and comprehensive studies on foreign direct investment and its impact on China’s economy. He has also conducted extensive research on China’s agricultural production, marketing, trade policy and liberalisation, and rural development.

He is leading a research project funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research on rural regional transformation in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Pakistan, which will have important policy impacts on rural development in Asian developing economies.

Professor Chen has two single-authored books: Foreign Direct Investment in China: Location Determinants, Investor Differences and Economic Impacts (Edward Elgar 2011), and Foreign Direct Investment and the Chinese Economy: A Critical Assessment (Edward Elgar 2017).


Research Interest

  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • International Trade and the WTO
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Chinese Economy