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Nation's FDI remains strong
( 2003-11-25 22:29) (Xinhua)

Vice-Minister of Commerce Liao Xiaoqi said yesterday China's inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) remains robust, despite the fact that its actual FDI experienced a two-digit decrease for four straight months from July to October.

"There is no reason China's FDI will suffer a big drop in the future since China stands for so many opportunities,'' said Liao.

Liao made the remarks at a forum on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) for foreign-funded companies hosted by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation (CAITEC), a think-tank under the Ministry of Commerce.

Liao attributed the drops in the previous months to the aftermath of the deadly SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak earlier this year.

Actual FDI slipped by more than 30 per cent in October from a year earlier to US$3.2 billion, while contracted investment in the month surged by 43 per cent to US$6.6 billion.

Total actual FDI was US$43.56 billion in the January to October period, a rise of 5.81 per cent from a year earlier.

Contracted foreign investment, an indicator of future trends, rose 33.75 per cent year-on-year in the first 10 months to US$88.68 billion.

"China still have many attractive elements to ensure the momentum of inward foreign investment,'' Liao said.

He explained that China keeps strong economic performance,fast foreign trade growth and expanding opening areas to investors.

China also sticks to its stable political and secure investment environment, whereas many other countries are troubled by fears of terrorism and other issues.

The over-40-per-cent increase in contractual investment indicates prospects are still bright, said Jin Bosheng, a CAITEC expert on foreign investment.

A 10 per cent growth is achievable if the actual investment in the remaining two months experiences strong rebounds, Jin said.

The country attracted nearly US$53 billion in FDI in 2002.

To win foreign investment, Liao said China will take steps to protect the intellectual property rights of foreign-funded companies.

The idea that intellectual property rights only benefits developed countries should be corrected, Liao said, adding that a good system is crucial for a developing country to keep an orderly market and maintain long-term development.

He also urged local companies to learn from foreign-funded companies in the field of IPR management and marketing.

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