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FDI 'magnet' set to draw record sum
( 2003-09-09 07:06) (China Daily)

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China is expected to total about US$57 billion this year, US$4.3 billion more than in 2002, said Ma Xiuhong, vice-minister of commerce, Monday.

Vice-Premier Wu Yi "opens" the Seventh China International Fair for Investment and Trade with a giant golden key in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, September 8, 2003. The fair, the first large-scale national-investment promotion event after SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), attracted 240 overseas business groups and organizations from 58 countries and regions.

She made the remark at the International Investment Forum 2003, one part of the Seventh China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT).

After 25 years of tireless work in attracting FDI, China has a larger scope and a more optimized structure to encourage foreign funds and the quality of investment from abroad in China is improving continuously, said Ma.

To date, more than 400 of the world's top 500 companies have launched operations in China, among which nearly 30 have set up regional headquarters, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce at the fair yesterday.

FDI in China hit a record high last year and ranked top in the world for the first time, said the report.

The country's actual foreign investment in 2002 exceeded US$52.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12.51 per cent, despite a decline in global FDI investment.

Also at the forum, Vice-Premier Wu Yi pledged that the Chinese Government will further improve the investment environment for overseas business people in China.

While further improving the socialist market economy system, the country will maintain the continuity and stability of macroeconomic policies and a basically stable currency.

It will also continue to streamline market conditions, strengthen its intellectual rights protection and make efforts to build a more open, equitable, and credible market environment, Wu said.

To attract more overseas investment, Wu said China will abide by its commitment of improving its laws and regulations on foreign investment and strive to provide a stable, transparent and efficient administrative environment.

While encouraging FDI in China, the country has sought a 'going global' policy which has obtained good results, Ma added.

By the end of July 2003, there were 7,222 Chinese-established non-financial operating organizations in over 160 countries and regions outside China, with domestic backers contributing a total investment of over US$10 billion.

The four-day fair opened in Xiamen, Fujian Province, Monday. It was attended by several senior officials including Wu Yi and chief executives Tung Chee-hua of Hong Kong and Edmund Ho Hau Wah of Macao.

It is the first large-scale international investment activity in the country since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in April.

More than 240 overseas delegations representing international organizations, foreign governments, multinationals, and business associations have registered for the fair. Delegations of enterprises and government departments from 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the Chinese mainland are also attending the fair.

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