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FDI to China to Top US$40b in 2002: DBS
China looks set to receive at least US$40 billion in foreign investment next year after entering the World Trade Organization (WTO), Southeast Asia's biggest lender DBS Bank said Monday in Singapore.

China has already removed several restrictions and approval procedures across key industries such as infrastructure and real estate development, Chris Leung, the bank's Hong Kong-based senior economist, said in a report.

"Obviously, China is getting more and more proactive in preparing the challenges to be brought from WTO entry".

"China's proactive liberalization policies on various fronts should continue to set this country apart from other slowing economies".

These active steps taken by Chinese authorities should see that at least US$40 billion's foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into the Chinese economy in 2002, Leung noted. FDI this year is projected at US$43 billion.

Leung said the projected slight decline was due to the "hold-up in investment plans" in the aftermath of the September terror attacks in the United States.

"But don't read too much into the decrease. US$40 billion is already a lot of money."

"If you look at the growth of FDI in the past 10 years, its been growing phenomenally."

"The outlook for China still looks good," he assured.

China, including Hong Kong, captured 80 percent of the FDI last year in the Asian region outside of Japan.

This came at the expense of Southeast Asia which only managed to attract a mere 8.6 percent, down sharply from its 33.5-percent share of the FDI pie in 1996.

China, the world's most populous nation with 1.3 billion people, had an economic output of US$1.08 trillion, exports of US$249.2 billion and imports of US$225 billion last year.

(People's Daily November 19, 2001)

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