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China remains hot spot for foreign investment
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China remains a hot spot for foreign investment despite the slower world economic growth. As evidence, the ongoing 12th Investment and Trade Forum for Cooperation between East and West China has attracted more than 4,000 investors from over 56 countries and regions.

On Tuesday, Lemna Corporation, the world's leading environmental protection facility provider, announced the opening of its joint venture with ZET, China's renowned telecom facility maker, in the Xi'an Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. It has an initial investment of up to 60 million yuan (8.58 million U.S dollars).

Wei Xingmen, director of the joint venture, said it was in line with the company's global strategy to invest in China's environmental protection facilities, notably in the western region.

The company would not drop its strategic plan in China, despite the slowing global economic cycle, he said.

AGANA, the biggest sugar refiner in Austria, is also considering to move the headquarter of its juice sector to Xi'an, the bustling northwestern city and the capital of Shanxi Province.

The city was attractive for its perfect geographical and climactic conditions for apple growth, said Rao Chunxiang, chief representative of the Austrian Commission of Foreign Trade office in the ancient walled city.

At present, China and the global economy face more uncertainties than ever as the U.S recession had dampened demands for Chinese exports as inflation pressure in the country had been riding high. Soaring global energy costs have also added more pressure for further price rise.

To battle the adverse factors haunting the domestic and international markets, China announced a slew of fiscal and administrative measures to combat the excessive liquidity and price increase.

Xue Shan, an official with the commerce department of the Austrian Embassy in China, said she had no concerns about China's economic outlook, despite the slower growth expected this year. Austria's long-term investment in China would not be affected.

She said Austria invested 82.34 million U.S. dollars in China in2007; the figure was set to rise this year.

Rao said the biggest pressure on Austrian enterprises came from the appreciation of the yuan. The companies, however, would stick to their investment, notably in western China, as the improved soft environment for overseas investment was widely praised by Austrian investors.

Gu Lihong, the vice president of Xi'an-Janssen, the first joint venture in western China, said the cooperation contract had been extended from 20 to 50 years following the sound collaboration in recent years.

Ministry of Commerce figures showed the actual use of foreign capital hit 18.1 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 75.19 percent from a year ago. Among the total, 1.39 billion was spent in the western areas, an increase of 204 percent year on year.

(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2008)

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