FDI rises 26% in China in first 4 months

Updated: 2011-05-17 10:23
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Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China grew 26.03 percent year-on-year to reach $38.8 billion during the first four months of this year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Tuesday.

In April, the FDI climbed 15.21 percent to $8.46 billion, down from March's growth of 32.9 percent, MOC spokesman Yao Jian said during a regular briefing.

While March saw 2,538 new foreign-invested companies being approved to operate in China, 2,215 foreign-invested companies were approved last month, up 8.21 percent from the same period in 2010.

China has approved 8,152 new foreign-invested companies over the past four months, a rise of 8.61 percent year-on-year.

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Yao said FDI from Asia and Europe kept growing during the January-April period. Capital inflows from ten Asian nations and regions, including Japan, Thailand, Singapore, rose 31.23 percent to reach $32.88 billion, while FDI from Europe gained 23.42 percent to $2.64 billion during the same period.

In contrast, the United States slowed its direct investment pace in the world's second-largest economy. FDI from US fell 28 percent year on year to $1.03 billion during the Jan-April period.

Furthermore, the growth rate in FDI in China's economically-developed east regions was slower than those in the country's central and western areas. East China attracted $33.18 billion of FDI during the Jan-April period, up 23.36 percent year on year, compared with the 34.03-percent increase in the central regions and 55.84-percent rise in the western areas, Yao said.

Outbound direct investment rises

China's outbound direct investments hit $13.4 billion during the first four months of 2011, up 17.5 percent year-on-year, according to Yao. This brought China's cumulative outbound non-financial direct investments to $272.2 billion as of the end of April, Yao said.

About $4.2 billion, or 31.3 percent of China's total outbound direct investments, were channeled into company mergers over the past four months, he said.

The country's overseas contracted projects brought in $24.88 billion in revenues during the same period, up 7.8 percent year-on-year, according to Yao. The value of new contracts stood at $43.66 billion, up 19.2 percent from one year earlier, Yao said.

About 775,000 Chinese laborers were stationed overseas by the end of April this year, nearly 22,000 less than in the same period last year, according to Yao. This is partly due to recent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, which resulted in the evacuation of thousands of Chinese nationals.

Japan earthquake reduces exports

Japan's exports to China rose 4.7 percent year-on-year to $15.99 billion in April, down from a 26.4-percent surge in the first quarter, as the effects of the Japanese earthquake on bilateral trade became more apparent.

On April 8, China banned imports of agricultural products and food from 12 regions located close to the site of Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was critically damaged during the recent earthquake and tsunami.

"It's an emergency measure for the world to ban food imports from Japan. China and Japan will discuss how to promote bilateral trade during Commerce Minister Chen Deming's visit to Japan this week," Yao said.

The European Union overtook Japan to become the biggest source of imports into China during the January-April period.

"The ministry has noticed the change. China will strengthen its economic and financial ties with Japan and participate in Japan's reconstruction," Yao said.

He added that Premier Wen Jiabao is due to attend the fourth trilateral summit of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea in Japan, which will be held from May 21 to 22.

Yao also said that China's trade surplus has fallen over the past three years as the country has increased its imports. The trade surplus accounted for 3.1 percent of China's gross domestic product last year, according to Yao.