China got $126 billion FDI in 2015 despite slowdown

China, witnessing its slowest growth in 25 years, attracted USD 126 billion in FDI last year, up 5.6 percent, with the majority invested in services and high- end manufacturing sectors of the world's second biggest economy, Commerce Minister said Sunday.

PTI| Updated: Mar 13, 2016, 12:54 PM IST
China got $126 billion FDI in 2015 despite slowdown

Beijing: China, witnessing its slowest growth in 25 years, attracted USD 126 billion in FDI last year, up 5.6 percent, with the majority invested in services and high- end manufacturing sectors of the world's second biggest economy, Commerce Minister said Sunday.

China will also further ease foreign investors' access to service and high-end manufacturing sectors, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng told the annual media conference on the sidelines of the parliament session here.

Sectors of finance, education, culture and logistics will be opened wider to foreign capital, and restrictions on high-end manufacturing will be relaxed, Gao said, adding, foreign investment will help China's state-owned enterprises to innovate and upgrade.

China attracted a total of USD 126 billion of foreign capital in 2015, up 5.6 percent over the previous year, with service and high-end manufacturing sectors attracting over 70 percent of the total, he said.

Chinese officials say this is despite the slowdown of the economy, which recorded its slowest growth in a quarter century last year.

Chinese economy expanded by 6.9 percent in 2015, lower than 7.3 percent in 2014 and the weakest since 1990. The government has fixed a target of 6.5 to 7 percent this year.

Foreign investors are shifting their focus to high-tech manufacturing and service sectors, Gao said, describing the phenomenon as a "structural improvement".

Gao also expected the less-developed central and western regions to open up, thanks to the implementation of the One Belt, One Road Initiative.

"Those regions boast huge potential as only 16 percent of foreign investment went there in 2015," Gao said.

China is formulating an investment catalogue to guide foreign investment in the regions and will build more trans- border economic cooperation zones, Gao added.

China has been encouraging foreign investment since its reform and opening up more than three decades ago.

Also the Supreme People's Court said China's court system handled a total of 1.42 million cases involving peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in 2015.

Those cases involved 820.75 billion yuan (USD 126.4 billion) the work report delivered by SPC President Zhou Qiang to the annual parliamentary session said.

Courts at all levels correctly recognised the differences between P2P lending and illegal fund-raising, concluding 58,000 cases involving illegal fund-raising, financial fraud and other crimes, and convicting 72,000 people, Zhou said.