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FDI up 45.6% in first half year
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Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose 45.6 percent in the first half of 2008 from a year earlier, as overseas investors continued to bank on the business opportunities in the world's fastest growing major economy.

The FDI amounted to 52.4 billion U.S. dollars during the six months to June, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.

The surge was attributed to the country's robust economic growth and stronger yuan, analysts said. Others factors include the sluggish U.S. economic growth and declining dollar.

China's economy expanded 10.6 percent year on year, in the first quarter. The yuan gained 6.5 percent against the U.S. dollar in the first half.

The number of newly-approved foreign-funded companies totaled 14,544, down 22.2 percent from the same period last year, the ministry added.

China's forex regulator has urged greater supervision over the inflows of short-term global speculative funds as a large-scale capital flight on rising dollar could undermine the economy and financial security.

Analysts believed that tens of billions of dollars of "hot money" has entered the country in the guise of trade and investment so far this year.

Exports increased 21.9 percent year-on-year to 666.6 billion U.S. dollars in the first half, while imports rose 30.6 percent to 567.57 billion U.S. dollars, the General Administration of Customs said on Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2008)

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