BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Chinese mainland in actual use stood at 847.17 billion yuan (about 118 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of the year, the Ministry of Commerce said Friday.
The figure decreased 5.1 percent from a year earlier, said the ministry. The decline was due to the slow pace of the global economic recovery and the high base recorded last year, said an official of the ministry.
During the period, 33,154 new foreign-invested firms were set up across the country, up 33 percent year on year, showing foreign businesses' confidence in long-term investment in China, the official said.
FDI in manufacturing rose 6.8 percent year on year, with that in high-tech manufacturing up 19.7 percent, indicating an improved quality of Chinese industries in terms of drawing foreign investment.
During the period, FDI from the United Kingdom, Canada, and France surged by 132.6 percent, 111.2 percent, and 105.6 percent, respectively, data from the ministry shows.
The country's State Council unveiled guidelines containing 24 specific measures to optimize China's foreign investment environment and beef up foreign investment inflows last month.
These measures include expanding pilot areas to open wider in terms of services, encouraging foreign firms and their R&D centers to undertake major sci-tech projects, facilitating the travel of senior executives, technicians, and their families, and enhancing the expertise of personnel in local government offices handling foreign investment.
In the next step, the ministry will work with localities and relevant departments to facilitate the implementation of the guidelines, the official said.