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Beijing welcomes FDI, encourages ODI

XIAMEN--China will continue to welcome foreign direct investment (FDI) and encourage domestic companies to go overseas, to enhance global capital flows and further revive the global economy, said the Ministry of Commerce on Saturday.

“China will strengthen cooperation with foreign nations and promote flexible capital inflows and outflows to accelerate global economic recovery,” said Gao Hucheng, vice minister of commerce, during the International Investment Forum 2012 in Xiamen, Fujian province. The forum coincided with the opening of the 16th China International Fair for Investment & Trade, the largest investment fair in China.

“Actively attracting foreign direct investment and encouraging outbound direct investment (ODI) has always been an important economic policy in China. China will continue to stick to the policy in the long term,” he added.

Gao said while developed nations strive for economic recovery and attempt to address debt issues, emerging markets are leading the global FDI recovery. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2011, the FDI worldwide surpassed the level before financial crisis and reached US$1.5 trillion, while developing nations' FDI surged by 11 percent to reach a historic high.

“It's a trend to see an increasing flow of global FDI into developing nations, which have become a new driving force in spurring the growth of global market,” said Gao.

He stressed that China played an important role in the world's economy. “The global transnational capital flows rely on Chinese investments. Without China, global economic growth will be affected.”

In 2011, China's ODI rose 8.5 percent year-on-year to US$74.65 billion, making China the sixth largest investing nation, in terms of value worldwide.

China has also been the most attractive FDI destination among developing nations for more than a decade, and last year, the nation's FDI hit a record high, surpassing the US$100 billion mark.

But because of the grim economic situation home and abroad, China's FDI during the first seven months dropped by 3.6 percent year-on-year to US$66.7 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

During his keynote address at the International Investment Forum 2012, Chinese State Councilor Ma Kai said China has been adopting a “more proactive” stance in implementing its opening-up strategy during the period between 2011 and 2015, “to promote free and flexible flows of capital.”

He said China will continue to expand its domestic consumption market, open more industries and regions to foreign companies, optimize the investment environment and increase the quality of foreign investment.

Ma also pointed out the significant role played by multinational companies in China.

He said in 2011, foreign companies with operations in China generated more than half of the nation's foreign trade, one seventh of the jobs, one fifth of the taxes and one fourth of the industrial output. By the end of 2011, China's accumulative FDI reached US$1.2 trillion.

“Foreign companies are an indispensable part of China's economy,” Ma added.

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