Foreign investment in China up 5.77% in first 10 months: govt

Foreign investment in China up 5.77% in first 10 months: govt
Workers transport construction materials as they walk past an advertisement in Beijing

BEIJING - Foreign investment into China rose 5.77 percent on year for January-October, the government said Tuesday, ahead of a China-EU summit where the two are expected to start talks on a key investment treaty.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China, which excludes financial sectors, totalled $97.0 billion in the first 10 months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce announced.

For October alone FDI increased 1.24 percent to $8.42 billion, the ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said in a statement that in the first 10 months, "investment in China from the 10 Asian countries and regions, the EU and the US maintained rather fast growth".

By far, most investment into China comes from a group of 10 Asian countries and regions including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. FDI from that region rose 7.18 percent to $83.6 billion in the year to October.

Investment from the European Union jumped 22.3 percent year-on-year to $6.40 billion during the January-October period, while that from the United States increased 12.4 percent to $3.04 billion.

The announcement came days before Chinese and EU leaders are to meet in Beijing for an annual summit to discuss a wide range of issues, likely to include a bilateral investment agreement.

China is the world's second-biggest economy and the European Union is its largest trade partner. Trade between the two amounted to $546.0 billion in 2012, according to Chinese Customs data.

"Reaching a high-level Sino-EU investment agreement is in the interest of both China and the EU," said Shen. "It will not only promote bilateral investment growth, but also help build balanced China-EU trade relations.

"China is prepared for this significant negotiation," he added.

China's own investment in the European Union rose 92.4 percent year on year in the first 10 months of 2013, the ministry said, without giving a value.

Overall, China's overseas investment increased 20.0 percent year-on-year to $69.5 billion during the same period, it added.

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