BEIJING (AP) — Chinese banks, manufacturers and other companies invested US$21 billion abroad last year as they rapidly expanded foreign operations, the government reported Saturday.
Nonfinancial investment abroad rose 43.8 percent to US$17.6 billion, while financial investments rose 16.7 percent to US$3.5 billion, the Commerce Ministry said.
China long has been one of the world's top destinations for foreign investment. But its own companies are expanding abroad. The government has speeded that process by scrapping controls that once required them to seek official approval for each investment project.
This was the first year that the government issued a combined list of China's total foreign investments.
By the end of 2006, more than 5,000 Chinese investment entities had established almost 10,000 companies abroad in 172 countries and regions, according to the Commerce Ministry.
Total foreign investment in China rose 12.8 percent to US$42 billion in the first eight months of this year, according to the government.