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Outbound Investment Surges Sharply in First Quarter
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Overseas direct investment by China's non financial sector surged 280 percent to US$2.68 billion in the first quarter of this year, a source with the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

The source said China's non-financial overseas direct investment was mainly in Asian countries  and came to US$1.32 billion or 49.2 percent of the total.

The investment in Latin America alone amounted to US$930 million making up 34.9 percent of the total and ranking second.

The investment in Europe hit US$300 million, accounting for 11.3 percent of the total, while the country's investment in Africa stood at US$100 million which is 3.8 percent of the overall figure. .

China's investments focused on commerce and service, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and the fishing industries as well as wholesale and retail sales, communication and transportation, storage and postal services. .

Meanwhile China has completed US$5.98 billion worth of business volume in overseas engineering contracts in the first quarter of this year -- up 65.2 percent from the same period of last year.

In total China signed engineering contracts valued at US$8.25 billion -- a 79.3 percent rise year on year. Among the contracts 28 were valued at above US$50 million each in the January-March period compared with 12 of that size in the corresponding period of 2005.

The combined value of the 28 contracts totaled US$3.9 billion which accounted for 47.3 percent of the total.

China's overseas engineering contracts were mainly associated with house building, transportation, electronics and telecommunications, petrochemical, power, manufacturing and processing, water supplies and drainage projects.

The engineering projects were mainly in Hong Kong, Algeria, Angola, Sudan, Nigeria and Singapore.

By the end of March 2006 China had signed US$194.2 billion worth of overseas engineering contracts and completed business valued at US$141.8 billion.

Over 3.5 million Chinese workers had been employed overseas by the end of March this year.

(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2006)

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