BEIJING -- China saw a rapid increase of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in the first half of the year, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday.
Some 24,000 new foreign firms established themselves in China in the first half of the year, marking a 35.7 percent rise year on year, Guo Tingting, vice commerce minister, told a press conference.
Foreign investment was basically stable in the country during the period, Guo said.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Chinese mainland, in actual use, dipped 2.7 percent year on year to 703.65 billion yuan (about $98.46 billion) in the first half.
Investments from developed countries kept growing, with investments from France, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany increasing by 173.3 percent, 135.3 percent, 53 percent, and 14.2 percent, respectively.
"The mild decline in FDI does not affect the continued optimism of foreign firms on China's development prospects, and the overall trend of expanding investment in China remains unchanged," said Zhu Bing, an official with the ministry.
There has been a wave of senior executives from multinationals visiting China and seeking investment and cooperation opportunities here, Zhu said.
"It's agreed that the Chinese market is not an 'option' but a 'must'," Zhu said.
China will continue to improve its business environment for foreign investment and shorten its negative list for foreign investment access, Guo said, adding that the ministry will maintain regular communication and exchanges with foreign firms.
China also continued to raise the quality and level of its outbound investment and cooperation in the first half, Guo said.
China's non-financial outbound direct investment jumped 22.7 percent year on year to 431.61 billion yuan from January to June.