Sat, Jul 31, 2004 - Page 10 News List

China's foreign investment flattening

AFP , BEIJING

China said yesterday it expects total annual foreign investment flows into the country to remain flat this year, reaching about US$50 billion.

The Ministry of Commerce also reiterated the government's forecasts for foreign trade to rise 20 percent to US$1 trillion this year compared with US$851.21 billion last year.

Full-year retail sales are forecast to grow by over 10 percent year-on-year to US$5 trillion yuan (US$603 billion) compared with 4.58 trillion yuan last year, Vice Minister of Commerce Yu Guangzhou (于廣洲) said in a statement.

Although retail sales were expected to pick up this year from last year's growth rate of 9.1 percent, slowing consumption was a problem for the commercial sector, Yu said.

Yu claimed that trade restrictions against China were hurting commerce and "resulting in unfair treatment for Chinese enterprises in the international market place."

Rising global oil prices and growing stockpiles of some commodities were also affecting the Chinese economy.

"Domestic tensions arising from the short supply of coal, electricity, oil and transportation haven't been fundamentally eased, which has lifted the production and operation costs of China's export enterprises," Yu said.

The ministry said it would still try to expand consumption and pledged to continue to implement China's WTO commitments to improve foreign investment.

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