China's realized foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2006 is expected to be close to last year's level, US$60 billion, according to an official at the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
Hu Jingyan, an official with MOFCOM, was quoted by Shanghai Securities News as saying the volume of China's FDI is not sufficient. He added that MOFCOM would encourage more foreign investment in China.
FDI to China dipped 0.5 per cent year-on-year to US$60.33 billion last year, excluding investment in banking, insurance and the securities sectors, according to the latest statistics from MOFCOM.
This is the first year that FDI has fallen in China since 1999.
The ministry said the Chinese Government had approved 44,001 new foreign-invested ventures, up 0.77 per cent year-on-year.
Chong Quan, another commerce ministry spokesperson, said foreign investment to China kept up a good pace in 2005 with improvements in quality and efficiency.
Chong said that 2005 saw a rapid increase of European Union investment to China, but a moderate decrease of actual investment from the United States and 10 countries and regions in Asia. Hong Kong remains a major foreign investment source.
He said the structure of investment to China was enhanced in 2005.
"Foreign investors are showing strong enthusiasm for investment in high-tech fields and research and development centres," he said, adding that FDI into telecom equipment, computer and other electronics manufacturing, and transportation equipment manufacturing also increased rapidly.