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Foreign investment in China slows sharply in '08
Updated: 2009-04-25 18:45

BEIJING -- Foreign investment, both to the financial and non-financial sectors, was significantly down in China last year, as foreign investors tightened their belts amid the global financial crisis, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) on Friday.

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The combined foreign direct investment inflow to China was US$160.9 billion in 2008, up 8 percent from a year ago, but was 65 percentage points slower, SAFE said in a report on China's balance of payments in 2008.

Foreign investors withdrew some US$13.1 billion of investment, a rise of 17 percent from 2007, but 16 percentage points less.

The net investment inflow was US$147.8 billion, up 7 percent but was 70 percentage points lower than that for 2007.

The financial sector attracted US$14.7 billion while the non-financial area drew US$146.2 billion.

East China remained the most attractive region for foreign investors. Mining, education and residential service industry were favored by foreign capital. The foreign capital use in property, catering and hotel sectors declined.

When foreign investors grew more cautious in overseas investment, China's net overseas direct investment increased by 215 percent to US$53.5 billion in 2008.

Most of the financial investment went to the United States and Hong Kong, while the non-financial investment were made in Asia.