BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- China attracted 7.73 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) in February, down 0.9 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.
It marks the fourth consecutive month of drops in FDI in the wake of a lingering global economic recovery, MOC data shows.
FDI fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in January, 12.73 percent in December, and 9.76 percent in November.
The February figure brought the total FDI in the first two months to 17.72 billion U.S. dollars, down 0.56 percent from the previous year, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a regular press conference.
In the first two months, the nation approved the establishment of 3,005 foreign-invested companies, down 11.59 percent year-on-year. The month of February alone registered 1,603 new foreign-invested companies, Shen said.
Shen said that FDI in the country's agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery sectors rose rapidly over the January-February period, together up by 38.2 percent year-on-year to 312 million U.S. dollars.
Meanwhile, both manufacturing and service sectors saw FDI drop. The manufacturing industry used 8.36 billion U.S. dollars of FDI, down 0.1 percent, while FDI in the service sector dropped 3.51 percent to 8 billion U.S. dollars.
Investment from the United States and other Asian countries and regions increased during the period, while that from the EU fell, Shen noted.
U.S. businesses invested 525 million U.S. dollars in China, an increase of 0.87 percent year-on-year, while investment from 27 EU member countries dropped 33.32 percent to 906 million U.S. dollars.
Both eastern and western regions registered negative FDI growth in the first two months, down by 1.63 percent and 6.55 percent, respectively, Shen said.
But the FDI going to the country's central regions rose 19.21 percent to 1.43 billion U.S. dollars during the period.
Furthermore, the country's overseas investment in non-financial sectors jumped 41.1 percent year-on-year to 7.44 billion U.S. dollars in the two months, Shen said.
But Shen failed to give details of these investments as the MOC is still studying the data.
Shen said the amount of investments calculated involved 706 overseas companies based in 97 countries and regions.
Business volume in overseas-contracted projects rose 16.6 percent year-on-year to 11.5 billion U.S. dollars. But the value of new contracts signed over the January-February period fell 18.5 percent to 14.48 billion U.S. dollars.
Fifty-six thousand more Chinese were sent to work in investment projects abroad during the period, Shen said.
As of the end of February, 799,000 Chinese were working in investment projects abroad, up by 35,000 from last year.