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China Draws $63 Billion in Foreign Direct Investment

China drew a record $63.0 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2006, up 5% from 2005, the official Xinhua news agency cited Commerce Minister Bo Xilai as saying on Monday.

It gave no figure for December alone, but China reported cumulative FDI of $54.26 billion in the first 11 months, pointing to December FDI of around $8.74 billion.

In all of 2005 China drew $60.33 billion in FDI, down slightly from the previous record of $60.6 billion in 2004.

Xinhua did not explain how it had arrived at the percentage growth figure for 2006. The $63.0 billion figure it reported is 4.43% greater than the $60.3 billion reported for 2005.

The figures cited by the Commerce Ministry do not include investments by foreigners in the financial sector.

Xinhua also cited Bo as saying that investment overseas by Chinese firms rose 32% from a year earlier in 2006, to $16.1 billion.

Beijing, intent to stimulate capital outflows to ease the upward pressure on the yuan, has been encouraging its companies to invest abroad to secure resources, build brands and win market share. Such outbound investments more than doubled in 2005 to $12.3 billion.