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Chinese to continue to invest abroad

By DING QINGFEN (China Daily)

08:17, March 06, 2013

China's outbound investment is expected to grow by 15 percent this year, according to a report issued on Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission.

The nation's top economic planning agency said China will "adopt a more proactive opening-up policy this year".

China's outbound direct investment in the non-financial sector, which grew 30 percent year-on-year in 2012, is expected to increase by 15 percent this year to $88.7 billion, it said.

The forecast came the same day as Premier Wen Jiabao said in his annual Government Work Report that China will continue to encourage domestic companies to invest overseas, exploring new room for economic growth.

And it also came as Chen Jian, vice-minister of commerce who is in charge of China's overseas investment cooperation, said in an interview with China Daily that the nation's outbound direct investment will maintain fast growth in the long term, and will see double-digit growth this year.

China will "support and guide all types of enterprises to conduct investment cooperation abroad", said the commission's report.

And the nation will also "improve relevant rules and regulations, providing Chinese investors more information about specific industries and the target nations and regions, perfecting relevant guidelines", it said.

China's outbound direct investment has continued to grow over the past five years despite the slide in global foreign direct investment, making the country the world's sixth-largest investing nation in 2011.

"It's high time that Chinese companies invest abroad, as they are more capable and more motivated to expand sales networks and enhance branding through boosting their overseas presence," said Li Jinzhang, Chinese ambassador to Brazil.

Brazil will be a key target destination for Chinese investment, he said.

According to Li, China is now an important source of investment in Brazil, seeing explosive growth in the Latin American nation in recent years.

Last year, ASEAN and the European Union were among the top destinations for China's outbound direct investment.

"The European debt crisis offers China huge opportunities to expand investment in the region, and in Germany in particular," said Shi Mingde, Chinese ambassador to Germany.

After last year's decrease in China's foreign direct investment, the first in three years, the commission's report said it is expected to grow 1.2 percent year-on-year in 2013 to $113 billion.

China's foreign direct investment has kept dropping over the past few months. Last year, it decreased 3.7 percent year-on-year to $111.7 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce. And it continued to drop in January — by 7.3 percent year-on-year.

The ministry attributed the drop to China's slowing economic growth and the fragile global economic recovery, but a spokesman for the commission said that China remains an attractive destination for foreign direct investment.

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