China's Foreign Investment Growth Slows In September

By Agence France-Presse Growth in foreign investment entering China slowed in September, although the country remained one of the world's favorite investor destinations, figures released Oct. 14 show. Foreign investment grew 22.6% in the first nine months of the year to US$39.6 billion compared with the same period last year, says Xinhua News Agency, the state news agency, citing the ministry of foreign trade. This is down from a 25.5% gain recorded in the period January to August, suggesting a slowdown in September. Contracted foreign investment -- commitments to spend in the future -- grew by 38.4% in the nine months to $68.4 billion, down from 42.4% in the first eight months, according to Xinhua. Foreign investment has been growing rapidly this year as overseas firms take advantage of gradual opening up of Chinese markets following the country's entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December. WTO membership has obliged China to begin dismantling many of the regulations that excluded foreign competition. Minister for Foreign Trade Shi Guangsheng forecast recently that total direct foreign investment into China could reach $50 billion this year, up from $46.8 billion in 2001. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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