01/14/2005, 00.00
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Foreign direct investment reaches a record US dollar 60 billion

Shanghai (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The mainland attracted a record US dollar 60.6 billion in actual direct foreign investment last year as overseas retailers, automakers and other manufacturers ramped up spending, the government said yesterday.

The Ministry of Commerce also reported that contracted direct investment reached US dollar 153.5 billion, up 33.4 per cent on the previous year, ensuring heavy flows of capital into China would continue.

Though the mainland has been attracting a growing share of foreign investment and now ranks second in the world, the US remained the world's largest recipient last year, drawing US dollar 121 billion, according to figures released this week by the United Nations, which put actual foreign investment to the mainland at US dollar 62 billion.

Foreign investment has soared as China has loosened restrictions on a wide range of industries following its 2001 entry into the World Trade Organisation.

The largest sources of overseas investment remained Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, South Korea, Japan, the US and Taiwan.

However, Commerce Ministry spokesman Chong Quan noted that contracted investment from Europe surged 43 per cent last year, outpacing a 24 per cent increase from the rest of Asia.

Many industries have joined the rush to shift production to the mainland, with Shanghai taking in more than 10 per cent of all foreign direct investment, or US dollar 6.54 billion, the city government reported on Wednesday.


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