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China expands overseas investment in first quarter
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17:17, April 15, 2009

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China issues guidelines for overseas investment

In the first quarter of 2009, China's overseas investment grows steadily, overseas contracted projects maintained fast growth while growth rate of labor service cooperation with foreign parties slows down, according to statistics released by China's Ministry of Commerce on April 15.

Yao Jian, spokesperson of the Commerce Minister, estimated that China's overseas investment would grow further this year.

In the first quarter, China set up 445 companies abroad, a 6.8% increase compared to the same period last year. China's non-financial direct investment on the overseas market reached 3.7 billion dollars, and talks on some major projects are under way.

More support will be given to facilitate overseas investment by Chinese enterprises, said Yao. The government will offer information on international markets, negotiate with more countries on bilateral investment protection agreements and provide personnel training.

In addition, banks and insurance companies are considering financing facilitating measures for overseas investment.

A Chinese business delegation visited Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the UK in March to seek investment opportunities there.

Similar delegations will be sent on a regular basis to more countries and regions to promote trade and investment, according to Yao.

China's overseas contracted projects maintained fast growth with a turnover of 12.43 billion dollars, growing by 32.6%. New contracts signed totaled 33.55 billion dollars with a growth rate of 57.5%.

There are 101 contracts each worth more than 50 million dollars (last year the number was 70), which had a total value of 27.3 billion dollars, taking up 81.4% of all new contracts.

Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd, for example, became contractor of part of the Mmamabula Energy Project in Botswana with a contract worth 1.9 billion dollars. China Railway Group Limited won the Mecca-Medina high-speed railway construction project worth 1.77 billion dollars. On March 11, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) beat many renowned competitors and won the Alexander Hamilton Bridge reconstruction project (407 million dollars), making a breakthrough in developed countries market.

China's labor service cooperation with foreign parties slowed down in the first quarter, with total business turnover of 2 billion dollars, an increase of 10.4%. New contacts totaled 1.7 billion dollars, down by 10.8%.

By the end of March, there were 715,000 Chinese working abroad, a decline of 28,000.

China has issued a warning of the risks in working in some countries, such as Hungary, Poland and Romania due to the shrinking demand for foreign workers and the payment default there.

By People's Daily Online

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