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China's FDI falls at slower speed

FOREIGN direct investments in China fell for a third consecutive month in December but by a slower pace of 5.7 percent, compared with November's 36.52 percent plunge, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

December saw FDI of US$5.98 billion, a dive of 25.78 percent from a year earlier, said Yao Jian, a ministry spokesman. Foreign investors set up 2,562 companies in China in that month.

FDI last year rose 23.58 percent on an annual basis to US$92.4 billion, faster than the 13.8 percent growth in 2007, and the service industry attracted more funds than other industries in the period, according to Yao.

Non-financial companies on the Chinese mainland invested US$40.65 billion in overseas markets last year, a jump of 63.6 percent from a year earlier, Yao said.

The global financial crisis has cut exports and foreign investments.

Although the meltdown has not hit China severely, the country is not totally immune to the global slowdown.

During the past few months, China has seen a fall in exports and imports, weaker industrial output, shrinking manufacturing profits and declining FDI.

China's economy grew 9 percent in the third quarter last year. The fourth-quarter data is scheduled to be unveiled next week.

The central government has announced plans to inject 4 trillion yuan (US$586 billion) to boost domestic demand amid the global recession.


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