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Record FDI Expected in 2002
Foreign direct investment (FDI)in China is expected to reach an all-time high in 2002, according to official sources.

  The State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) estimated Monday that FDI in China will total 47 billion U.S. dollars in 2001, with the average size and technical content of the projects on the rise.

  According to the ongoing national planning meeting in Beijing, China will strive to attract more FDI in 2002. China's economy is expected to grow by 7.4 percent this year, far ahead of a World Bank forecast of a 1.3 percent growth of the world economy.

  Local economists predict that China's economy may maintain a growth of around seven percent in 2002.

  This makes China an increasingly attractive destination for overseas investment, Zeng Peiyan, minister in charge of the SDPC, said. SDPC figures indicate that the inflow of foreign funds, including FDI, is to total 59.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2001.

  According to decisions made by the central authorities, China will take advantage of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to lift the level of using foreign funds.

  The Trade Development Conference of the United Nations has forecast that the total volume of transnational investment will decrease next year. However, the amount of FDI coming to China will increase. It is estimated that FDI in China will top 50 billion U.S. dollars in 2002.

  According to sources from the national planning meeting, China will guide foreign investment into such areas as electronic information, bio-technology, new materials, chemical industry and construction materials.

  China will also encourage foreign investors to participate in the construction of infrastructure in western China. The country will provide necessary assistance for multinational companies to establish research and development centers here.

  Zeng said China will give priority to the introduction of high and advanced technologies that are of strategic importance and most needed in the country. It also encourages the efforts of learning from advanced international management expertise and hiring specialists from overseas.

  Starting from next year, China will begin to give national treatment to foreign-funded enterprises. The country will gradually open its service market to foreign investors, including the retailing, financial, insurance and tourism sectors.

  In order to adapt to the new trend of international capital flow, China will experiment with attracting foreign funds through venture investment and mutual funds in 2002. It will invite multinational companies to help with the reform of state-owned enterprises and the disposal of bad loans of asset management companies.

  Zeng said that China will also enhance the utilization of soft loans of foreign governments and international organizations next year.

(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2001)

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