China's actual foreign direct investment excluding the financial sector hit $63.02 billion last year, a rise of 4.47% from 2005, the Ministry of Commerce reported Jan. 15.

There were 41,485 new companies established in China last year, a drop of 5.76% from 2005. Excluding the financial sector 41,473 new companies were registered for a fall of 5.75%.

Actual direct investment from overseas has showed an increasing trend in recent months, picking up 15.9% in October and 20.6% in November. China pulled in foreign direct investment of $60.33 billion in 2005, down 0.5% from 2004.

Separately, Chinese firms' total overseas investments reached $16.1 billion last year, up 32%, Xinhua said in a report Jan. 15, reflecting how Chinese companies have moved to expand their businesses beyond their home base.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007