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China 2014 outbound investment tops 100 bln USD

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BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's outbound investment reached 102.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, smashing through the 100-billion mark for the first time, Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan revealed on Friday.

This is a 14.1 percent rise from the previous year and much better than the 1.7 percent gain recorded in foreign direct investment in China, which was 119.6 billion dollars.

The data did not cover investment in the financial sector.

"Judging from the current speed, China will soon become a net outbound investor, which will be a historic turning point," Zhong said at a news briefing.

The government has been encouraging domestic companies to "go global" as the economy grows increasingly more integrated with the world. Overseas investment is predicted to grow by an annual rate of 17 percent during the 2011-2015 period, according to earlier projections from the ministry.

China's total investment in overseas non-financial sectors came in at 90.17 billion dollars in 2013, while total inbound investment reached 117.59 billion dollars.

Zhong said the ministry will focus on integrating the "Belt and Road Initiative", which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, to actively expand investment in related regions.

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