Foreign Trade and Utilization of Foreign Investment

     In 1978, China's total volume of foreign trade ranked No.27 in the world. By 1997, China's total volume of import and export trade climbed to US$325.1 billion, a 17.7-fold increase over 1978 with an average annual increase of 15.6 percent and China's place in the world jumped to No.10. The percentage of China's volume of export in the world trade rose from 0.8 percent in 1978 to 3.3 percent. China's foreign exchange reserve in 1978 came to only US$ 167 million. However, this figure rose to US$139.9 billion in 1997 (US$ 145 billion at the end of 1998), ranking No.2 in the world.

     Prior to the reform and opening to the outside world, China had hardly any foreign investment for use. However, since China opened itself to the outside world and carried out reform, foreign investment actually used in the country added up to US$348.35 billion. In the years after 1993, the amount of foreign investment absorbed by China has maintained the honor of No.2 in the world (only second to USA) for five years consecutively. In addition, China's revenue from tourism in 1997 amounted to US$12.1 billion (US$12.6 billion in 1998), a 45-fold increase over that of 1978, ranking No.8 in the world.

     From 1978 to 1997, nearly 100,000 reservoirs of different purposes were constructed with a total water storage of 500 billion cubic meters. 5608 irrigated areas were added and the size of irrigated land came to 22.6 million hectares. New investment in capital construction resulted in an increase of coal-mining capacity by 380 million tons, oil-drilling capacity by 240 million tons, steel-making capacity by 18.84 million tons and power-generating capacity by 159 million kilowatts. At the same time, 1,226,000 kilometers of highway were constructed and the loading capacity of newly constructed (or extended) ports amounted to 460 million tons. From 1980 to 1997, main-track railway newly laid throughout the country increased by 17,000 kilometers.