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Ministry predicts new surge in ODI

01-05-2012 09:09 BJT

Expansion will match foreign direct investment, experts say

BEIJING / HONG KONG - Outbound direct investment (ODI) for 2011-15 is expected to register double-digit annual growth to reach $560 billion, matching the nation's foreign direct investment (FDI), a statement from the Ministry of Commerce said.

The government will accelerate promoting "overseas investment" during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) period, the statement, posted on the website of the ministry on Wednesday, said.

The scale of accumulative ODI from 2011 to 2015 will reach the level of the nation's FDI, according to the statement.

"The annual growth rate (from 2011 to 2015) for the nation's ODI on average will remain around 17 percent, and the accumulative volume in the five years is expected to reach $560 billion, equivalent to that of China's FDI during the same period," it said.

ODI growth has remained robust despite the global financial crisis.

ODI in the non-financial sector, in 2010, surged as high as 36.3 percent year-on-year to $59 billion, after it gained 14.2 percent in 2009. China overtook Japan and the United Kingdom that year to become the world's fifth-largest overseas investing nation.

From January to November of 2011, ODI in the non-financial sector grew by 5.2 percent year-on-year to $50 billion, according to the ministry. By the end of November accumulative investment reached $312 billion.

"The target (of 17 percent) is really positive. There is no doubt that ODI in the next few years will grow rapidly thanks to China holding large volumes of foreign exchange reserves and its huge demand for agriculture and mining products," said Jin Baisong, researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation affiliated to the ministry.

In the statement the ministry said the government will guide and encourage local companies to enhance cooperation and invest abroad in manufacturing, energy, culture and engineering.

And China will also promote investment in the service sector, including finance, architecture, tourism, education and telecoms.

ODI will play a more dominant role in the future, said Professor Chong Tai-leung of the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Institute of Global Economics and Finance.


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