Chinese companies invested US$3.62 billion overseas in non-financial sectors last year, an increase of 27 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.
Up to the end of the year, China's direct investment overseas reached US$37 billion.
According to the ministry, nearly half of Chinese investment in 2004 went to Latin America and some 40 percent to other parts of Asia, mainly in the fields of mining, commercial services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail sales.
Chinese companies engaged in engineering projects overseas reported a business turnover of US$17.5 billion last year, up 26 percent on 2003. They also signed new contracts worth US$23.8 billion, according to the ministry.
So far, 3.2 million individuals have been dispatched overseas on labor service contracts, earning a total of US$30.8 billion.
(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2005)