China's rapid economic growth in recent years has brought more opportunities to foreign investors and boosted global economic development, a Chinese commerce official said Wednesday.
Foreign investors have remitted US$57.94 billion in profit from China to their home countries and elsewhere in the world since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) five years ago, said Yi Xiaozhun, vice-minister of Commerce.
China imported products to the value of US$2.4 trillion during the same period, Yi told an international symposium on the fifth anniversary of China's accession to the WTO, held in Shanghai.
"The two figures show that China's fast economic growth since its entry into the WTO has brought more opportunities to foreign investors and has been a factor in boosting global economic growth," Yi said.
According to Ministry of Commerce figures, 71 foreign banks had set up 214 agencies in China by the end of June this year and they can conduct renminbi business in 25 Chinese cities.
China has approved 23 Sino-foreign joint fund management companies and seven Sino-foreign joint securities ventures, as well as seven foreign auto-financing firms and three financing firms under foreign corporate conglomerates.
China had 82 insurance companies by the end of last year, 41 of which are foreign subsidiaries, the ministry figures show.
China had approved 1,341 foreign-funded commercial businesses by the end of last year, which opened 5,657 stores across the country. Foreign-funded chain stores make up one quarter of China's total supermarkets.
Liu said about two-thirds of China's imports in the last five years have come from developing countries in Asia and Africa, contributing significantly to the economic development in those countries.
According to World Bank figures, China has contributed an average of 13 percent to global economic growth every year since its entry into the WTO five years ago.
(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2006)