Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland rose 10.44 percent year on year in January and February to reach 19.31 billion U.S. dollars, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.
The growth rate marked a surge from the 5.25-percent year-on-year increase in 2013, but was lower than the 16.11-percent year-on-year rise in January.
Overseas investors set up 2,764 new enterprises in the mainland in January and February, down 5.18 percent year on year, ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference.
FDI in the country's service sector gained 25.54 percent in the first two months year on year to 10.61 billion U.S. dollars, or 54.9 percent of the total, Shen said.
In contrast, the manufacturing sector saw its FDI inflows decrease 6.06 percent year on year to 7.02 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months.
FDI from the United States gained 43.26 percent year on year to reach 711 million U.S. dollars in the first two months. FDI from 10 major Asian economies climbed 11.58 percent year on year to 16.94 billion U.S. dollars, including a 17.63-percent rise from Hong Kong, and a 223.62-percent rise from the Republic of Korea.
But FDI from the European Union fell 13.82 percent year on year to 1.05 billion U.S. dollars.
With an inflow of 15.3 billion U.S. dollars, the affluent east of China continued to grab the lion's share of FDI in January and February.
However, the country's central and western regions have become increasingly attractive to foreign investors.
FDI inflows into the central region stood at 2.62 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months, up 75.02 percent year on year. The west bagged 1.39 billion U.S. dollars, up 28.98 year on year.
China's outbound direct investment by non-financial firms decreased 37.2 percent year on year in the first two months to stand at 11.54 billion U.S. dollars, according to the ministry.