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UPDATE 1-China Jan foreign direct investment rises in sign of confidence

BEIJING, Feb 18 (Reuters) - China drew $10.76 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in January, up 16.1 percent from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday, a sign that confidence in the world's second-largest economy remains firm even as growth cools. The majority of the new investment, some $6.33 billion, went into China's services industry, while investment in manufacturing fell 21.7 percent, the ministry said. Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told a media briefing that China's economic reforms, especially in the services sector, helped boost confidence of foreign investors. "The double-digit growth in FDI in January answered the question of whether China's investment environment remains favourable," Shen said. "We expect foreign direct investment to maintain sound momentum this year." China has attracted a steady flow of foreign investment every year since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, as businesses jumped at the chance to enter the world's most populous country. FDI inflows into China in 2013 rose to a record $117.6 billion. In January, investment from 10 Asian countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, rose 22.2 percent to $9.55 billion. Investment from the United States rose 34.9 percent to $369 million while that from the European Union fell 41.3 percent to $482 million. The investment comes even as China's economy show signs of slowing from the stellar growth rates of years past as the government looks to shift the emphasis to structural reform rather than growth for its own sake. One pillar of the reform drive is to make the economy driven more by the service sector and consumers, ending its traditional reliance on investment and exports for growth. At the same time, the ministry's data showed more Chinese companies are expanding abroad. Outbound FDI in January was $7.23 billion, up 47.2 percent from a year earlier. Chinese firms have been quickening the pace of overseas purchases in recent years, with their footprint expanding from Asia to Africa and Europe. In January alone, computer maker Lenovo Group spent over $5 billion on two high-profile acquisitions in the United States.