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China’s FDI beats out US to become world leader

By Song Shengxia (Global Times)

08:36, October 30, 2012

China remains competitive in attracting foreign capital despite the slow recovery of the world economy and the many uncertainties facing international investment, an official at the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Monday.

"International investors are still optimistic about China's growth prospects and increasingly value the potential of China's market and China's investment environment," an unnamed official said in a statement Monday.

However, the official admitted the challenges of attracting foreign capital given the current international economic situation.

China will further open its market and improve the market system to provide a fair, stable and transparent investment environment, the official said.

The official made the comment in response to a recent report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which said China surpassed the US to become the largest recipient country of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of the year, despite a slight decline in FDI inflows from a year earlier.

China attracted $59.1 billion in FDI while the US attracted $57.4 billion in the same period, according to the latest Global Investment Trends Monitor by UNCTAD. "Although FDI inflows to China declined for several months, the situation in other economies is even worse," He Weiwen, a researcher with the China-US-EU Study Center under the China Association of International Trade, told the Global Times.

China's inbound FDIs dropped 6.8 percent year-on-year to $8.4 billion in September, compared with a year-on-year decline of 1.43 percent in August, data from the MOFCOM showed. It was the fourth consecutive monthly decline of the country's FDI inflows.

"It also likely reflects a weaker appetite for spending from developed countries struggling with weak financial conditions," Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist at Crédit Agricole CIB, said in a research note.

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