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Outbound Investment Surges 32% in 2006
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Overseas investment by Chinese multinationals, excluding the financial sector, surged by 32 percent year-on-year to reach US$16.1 billion last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.

As a result, the global ranking of Chinese overseas investment jumped from 17th in 2005 to 13th last year, according to figures released by the ministry at a national commerce conference in Beijing.

Chinese multinationals completed contracted overseas projects worth 30 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 37.9 percent from the previous year.

China sent 351,000 people to work overseas, bringing back earnings of US$5.37 billion, a rise of 12.1 percent.

Compared with actual foreign direct investment (FDI) in China, which totaled US$63 billion last year, Chinese overseas investment was still small, said Commerce Minister Bo Xilai.

Bo said the government would set out preferential policies regarding investment, foreign exchange, insurance and taxation this year to encourage more Chinese companies to invest abroad.

The government also planned to set up trade and economic cooperation areas in countries with big market potential, with the purpose of upgrading technological levels and increasing tax revenue, employment and exports for those countries, Bo said.

He urged Chinese companies which had invested or planned to invest abroad to pay attention to project quality and to honor their commitments.

The Ministry of Commerce would take strict measures to manage Chinese firms investing overseas to avoid overheating competition and damage to the interests of other countries, Bo said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2007)

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