China's Foreign Direct Investment Up 16% in Jan-Oct

Japan led the growth with an increase of 65.5%.

Driven by Asian investors, foreign direct investment in China rose nearly 16% in the first 10 months of the year, official data showed on Nov. 16.

China took a total of $95.01 billion in foreign direct investment in the January to October period, up 15.86% from the same period last year but slower than the 16.6 percent growth rate in the first three quarters.

Investment reached $8.33 billion in October, up 8.75%t year-on-year, commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said. The figure was lower than the $9.05 billion invested in September.

Investment from Asian countries continued to rise "by large margins" to $81.9 billion in the January to October period, with Japan leading the growth with a year-on-year increase of 65.5%, he said.

In stark contrast, U.S. investment slumped 18.13% to $2.6 billion, while European Union investment increased just 1.05% to $5.5 billion.

Shen attributed the fall in U.S. investment to the country's economic downturn, adding China remained one of the most appealing markets in the world for foreign investors. He dismissed reports that a large number of U.S. companies were leaving China, but admitted some sectors in the country may face difficulties attracting U.S. funds due to Washington's call for domestic firms to return home.

"China's high value-added sectors are under some pressure attracting foreign investment given the uncertain U.S. economic outlook and its policies to encourage firms to go home and rebuild the manufacturing industry," Shen said.

Given the downturn in the United States and Europe -- key buyers of Chinese goods -- Shen said he expected exports to suffer in the coming months due to weak demand, rising trade protectionism and surging costs within China.

The country's trade surplus -- a constant bugbear for the United States -- is expected to be around $150 billion this year, down $30 billion from last year, he said.

But Beijing will keep its export policies "basically stable" while "actively expanding" imports to further promote a balance of trade, he added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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