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China's Jan.-June foreign direct investment rises 2.2%

BEIJING--Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 2.2 percent to US$63.33 billion during the first six months of this year, the government announced Tuesday.

For the month of June alone, FDI — which excludes investment in financial sectors — inched up 0.2 percent year-on-year to US$14.42 billion, the commerce ministry said.

But it was a substantial jump on May's US$8.6 billion, according to previous figures.

“Major countries maintained overall steady growth in investment in China,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also announced that for the first six months China's overseas investment in non-financial sectors fell 5.0 percent year-on-year to US$43.34 billion.

Foreign investment into China rebounded in 2013 to US$117.59 billion, after declining in 2012 for the first time in three years.

China's economy expanded 7.7 percent in 2013, the same as 2012 — the worst pace since 7.6 percent in 1999. China's official growth target for this year is 7.5 percent, also the same as last year's.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The median forecast in a survey of 17 economists by AFP predicted that the economy again grew 7.4 percent in the April-June period. China announces second-quarter GDP data on Wednesday.

FDI into China from South Korea rose 45.6 percent to US$2.8 billion, while that from Britain jumped 76.4 percent to US$700 billion, the ministry said.

But investment from Japan declined 48.6 percent in the first six months of the year, while that from the European Union fell 11.2 percent, the figures showed.

There was also a drop in cash from the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) countries, down 19.2 percent, and the United States, which was off 4.6 percent.

Beijing has encouraged Chinese companies to “go out” to seal supplies of crucial resources as well as make overseas acquisitions to gain market access and international experience.

Chinese investment to the U.S. rose 12.8 percent to US$2.46 billion during the first half of the year, the ministry said, and to ASEAN countries it climbed 14 percent to US$2.52 billion.

But Chinese investment into Hong Kong fell 29.3 percent, the ministry said, while that to the European Union soared 221.7 percent year-on-year. Investment in Russia and Japan jumped by 109.5 percent and 100 percent, respectively. The ministry did not give absolute amounts for them.

China's overall decline in outbound investment was “inevitably influenced by the global economy and China's macro economy,” ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters.

“China's outbound investment is still welcomed by all countries and it has a good prospect for growth in the long run,” he said.

Chinese outbound investment hit US$90.17 billion last year, and officials have said it could overtake FDI this year.

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