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China targets foreign capital in modern services

CHINA will continue efforts to attract foreign investment this year, especially in dynamic sectors like advanced manufacturing and modern services as China upgrades its industrial structure, a senior government official said today.

But China should also safeguard national security, fending off too much reliance on foreign funds and adjusting its role in sensitive areas such as agriculture, said Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"China remains one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investment due to the country's stable political and social status, huge potential in domestic market and its relatively comprehensive infrastructure construction," Zhang said. "Besides, the advantage in labor costs still exists."

China's foreign direct investment expanded at the fastest pace in 16 months at an annualized 31.97 percent in November last year. In the first 11 months of 2009, foreign investment dipped 9.9 percent from a year earlier to US$77.8 billion due to the global economic recession.

Zhang said China will offer more preferential policies for foreign capital in industries such the high-tech sector, advanced manufacturing, modern services, new energy and energy conservation.

But the country should closely monitor the movement of speculative money and balance the opening-up of industries like agriculture, finance and telecommunications, which are key components regarding national security, he said.


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