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China FDI inflow surges 22 pct in August

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BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland jumped 22 percent in August from a year earlier, settling at 8.71 billion U.S. dollars, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

The growth accelerated from a 5.2-percent rise in July, as investments to the country's high-tech service industry saw a significant increase.

For the first eight months, FDI, which excludes investment in the financial sector, stood at 85.34 billion U.S. dollars, up 9.2 percent from the same period last year, the ministry said.

Foreign investment to the service industry rose 20.1 percent, with the high-tech service sector seeing a jump of 59.1 percent to 5.51 billion U.S. dollars.

High-tech manufacturing attracted 6.57 billion U.S. dollars of foreign investment in the first eight months, up 9.9 percent.

Investments from Hong Kong, France and Macao saw fast growth, and those from European Union went up 14.4 percent to 5.12 billion U.S. dollars.

The ministry also noted that the number of foreign businesses ending or reducing investment in China continued to drop, dispelling worries that foreign capital is moving out of the country due to growth uncertainties.

China is battling a property downturn, industrial overcapacity, sluggish demand and struggling exports, which dragged growth down to 7 percent for the first half (H1) of the year.

On top of that, fresh pressure from capital market volatility, currency devaluation in emerging markets, and slumping global commodity prices are further muddying growth prospects.

At the annual summer meeting of the World Economic Forum, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised that China will make it easier for foreigners to invest in its industries.

"We are also becoming more capable of attracting foreign direct investment," he said.

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