China’s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) continued to see double-digit growth in the first quarter of the year, official data showed Monday.
Domestic investors made 25.5 billion U.S. dollars of non-financial ODI in 2,023 overseas enterprises in 140 countries and regions for January-March, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said.
The figure was up 24.1 percent from the same period last year, according to the MOC.
ODI in countries along the Belt and Road maintained strong expansion, rising 22.4 percent from one year earlier to 3.61 billion dollars during the first three months.
The structure of outbound investment has been optimized, with the majority of investment going to sectors including leasing, mining,manufacturing and IT services, the ministry said on its website.
The country’s ODI has seen rapid growth in recent years. However, noting an “irrational tendency” in outbound investment, authorities have set stricter rules and advised companies to make investment decisions more carefully.
In a document released in August last year, the State Council said overseas investment in areas including real estate, hotels, cinemas, and entertainment would be limited, while investment in sectors such as gambling would be banned.
In the first three months, no new ODI projects were reported in the real estate, sports, and entertainment sectors, MOC said.
President Xi Jinping underscored advancing reform and opening-up in the southern province of Hainan “from a higher perspective, with a broader vision and greater strength.”
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the statement during an inspection tour of Hainan from Wednesday to Friday.
He urged the province to make full use of its environmental advantages and its status as a special economic zone (SEZ) and an international tourism island, in a bid to build a “beautiful and new” Hainan.
When touring the Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone on Wednesday, Xi learned about the latest development of the project and inspected state-of-the-art medical equipment including an endoscopic capsule robot. He talked to experts and stressed the importance of boosting the health sector to serve the people.
Visiting the Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering under the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Thursday, Xi learned about China’s seabed exploration in the Mariana Trench and examined deep-sea research equipment.
Xi said efforts should be stepped up to build China into a strong maritime country. He said China should take advantage of the South China Sea as its best natural venue for deep-sea research and experiments.
Efforts should be made to develop deep-sea research bases and push for the development of deep-sea science and technologies, he said.
Inspecting a national seed production research base, where thousands of researchers gather every winter and spring, Xi stressed that feeding more than a billion people is the biggest issue for China and good seeds are vital for increasing grain output.
Xi said China should develop good crop species whose intellectual property rights it owns to safeguard the country’s food security.
On Friday, Xi visited the Hainan Museum and watched an exhibition on Hainan’s progress over the past three decades.
Xi said Hainan has transformed itself from a remote and underdeveloped island into China’s largest SEZ and a well-known international tourism island. It proves that the decision of the CPC Central Committee to set up the SEZ was correct. He called for new breakthroughs in reform and opening-up.
In the museum, Xi inspected samples from a gene database of tropical island animals and plants, checked measures to protect natural reserves, and heard analysis reports of the data collected through air quality monitoring. Xi said lucid waters, lush mountains, azure sky and blue sea are Hainan’s strongest advantages. He called for more progress in building a socialist ecological civilization.
Xi later visited the provincial administrative data center and watched how data was being used in tourism and disaster relief. He stressed the pressing need for the government to speed up setting up big data platforms to improve social governance. He urged officials to better use the advantage of the internet to improve policy making, social governance, and public services.
Xi then visited the Shicha village in Xiuying District of Haikou and inspected the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy. He was pleased to learn that local farmers have rising incomes from rural businesses developed through the cooperation of companies, co-operatives, and rural households.
Xi said both cities and the countryside should be developed well to reach the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. Farmers should be encouraged to tap into local resources to develop specialized agriculture, countryside tourism, and courtyard economies to raise their incomes.