China's FDI from countries along the B&R routes grew 13.2 percent in 2018

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland saw a rebound in December, jumping nearly 25 percent year on year, official data showed Monday.

FDI in December reached 92.34 billion yuan, up 24.9 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a statement. In dollar terms, the investment was $13.71 billion, up 23.2 percent.

This marked a turnaround from a year-on-year decline of 26.3 percent in yuan terms and a 27.6-percent drop in dollar terms in November.

A total of 5,830 new overseas-funded enterprises were established last month, up 20.5 percent year on year.

In 2018, FDI rose 0.9 percent to 885.61 billion yuan. In dollar terms, it climbed 3 percent to $134.97 billion.

The country's FDI set a record high last year, according to the statement.

Last year saw 60,533 new overseas-funded enterprises established, up 69.8 percent year on year.

FDI into the manufacturing sector grew 20.1 percent, with investment in high-tech manufacturing surging 35.1 percent.

The country saw nearly 1,700 major FDI projects with contract value above $50 million, up 23.3 percent from the previous year.

"As a guiding indicator for foreign investment, the number of major FDI projects on contracts posted a marked increase, showing that foreign investors' confidence in China has not been undermined," said Tang Wenhong, head of the MOC's department of foreign investment administration.

"As China continues to follow a path of high-quality development and further opens up, its appeal to foreign investors will continue unabated," Tang said.

China has adopted an array of measures to open its doors wider, easing foreign equity restrictions, streamlining administrative procedures and better protecting the rights of foreign businesses.

Last year, the World Bank raised China by 32 places in a business environment ranking, while 95 percent of companies surveyed by the US-China Business Council said they would increase investment or maintain their existing presence in China in the coming year.

In a recent interview, Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said the country will continue to shorten the negative lists for foreign investors and allow wholly-foreign ownership in more sectors in 2019.

Monday's data showed investment from the UK surged 150.1 percent last year, the fastest among China's major investment sources, while investment from countries along the Belt and Road routes posted a growth of 13.2 percent.