Fri, Jan 17, 2014 - Page 15 News List

China says FDI bounces back, rose 5.3% last year

AFP, BEIJING

A worker on Wednesday stuffs a toy bear with cotton at a toy factory in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Photo: Reuters

Overseas investment into China rose 5.3 percent last year, official data showed yesterday, bouncing back after declining in 2012 for the first time in three years.

Foreign direct investment (FDI), which excludes financial sectors, totaled US$117.59 billion last year, the commerce ministry said.

The figure is up from the US$111.72 billion posted in 2012, when it skidded 3.7 percent in the face of economic weakness in developed markets and a growth slowdown at home.

For last month alone, FDI increased 3.3 percent year on year to US$12.08 billion, the ministry said.

“In 2013, China’s foreign direct investment steadily rebounded,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it had increased for 11 straight months from February.

The ministry said FDI in the services sector made up more than half the total for the first time, accounting for 52.3 percent.

Services industry investment reached US$61.45 billion, a gain of 14.2 percent, it said. Chinese overseas investment rose 16.8 percent to US$90.17 billion last year, the ministry said as Chinese firms continue to buy foreign assets, particularly energy and resources, to power the world’s No. 2 economy.

“China’s overseas investment will probably exceed FDI next year or in 2016, if not this year,” ministry spokesman Shen Danyang (沈丹陽) told reporters in Beijing.

FDI from the EU jumped 18.1 percent to US$7.2 billion last year, while that from the US rose 7.1 percent to US$3.35 billion, but by far the most investment into China comes from a group of 10 Asian countries and regions including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

FDI from those economies rose 7.1 percent to US$102.52 billion.

However, FDI from Japan fell 4.3 percent to US$7.1 billion, the figures showed, as Asia’s two largest economies remain engaged in territorial disputes that have led to a frosting of relations.

Among China’s outbound investment destinations, Russia soared 518.2 percent to US$4.08 billion last year with a raft of projects under way, including in the energy sector.

Chinese investment to the US also surged, 125 percent to US$4.23 billion.

However, investment to the EU fell 13.6 percent owing to trade disputes between Beijing and Brussels, including over Chinese solar panels and European wine. Investment to Japan fell a sharp 23.5 percent, while to Hong Kong it slipped 6 percent, the ministry said, without providing totals.

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