China January FDI Down for Third Month on Weak EU

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China drew $10 billion in foreign direct investment in January, data showed on Thursday, down 0.3 percent from a year earlier for the third consecutive month of annual declines as a shaky world economy sapped inflows.

FDI inflows from the United States rose strongly from a year earlier, and those from Asia edged higher. But investment from the 27 European Union members dropped sharply, the Commerce Ministry figures showed.

China weathered Europe's festering debt crisis last year to draw a record $116 billion worth of foreign direct investment, giving the Commerce Ministry confidence to target an average of $120 billion in inflows in each of the next four years.

The latest figures showed that overall inflows dropped 0.3 percent to $9.997 billion in January from a year earlier.

The inflows from the United States rose 29 percent to $342 million and from 10 Asian countries including Japan they increased a modest 0.77 percent to $8.586 billion.

But inflows from the EU plunged 42.5 percent to $452 million.

Investment inflows into China surged in the years after it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, and have rebounded strongly after being hit hard by the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

Total foreign direct investment excludes investment in the financial sector. Some of the monthly figures are calculated based on cumulative data.

The ministry said that China's non-financial outbound direct investment in January rose 60 percent from a year earlier to $4.376 billion.