BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China expanded by 6.32 percent year on year in February, increasing for the first time since June 2012, according to data revealed by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Tuesday.
FDI inflow in February stood at 8.21 billion U.S. dollars, ending a streak of declining for eight consecutive months, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang told a press conference here.
"The rebound is a heartening fact," Shen said, adding that it showed the competitiveness of China's economy and foreign investors' confidence in the country's business environment and growth prospects.
In February, China approved the establishment of 1,032 foreign-invested enterprises, down 35.62 percent from a year earlier, Shen said.
In the first two months of 2013, total FDI inflow dropped 1.35 percent to 17.48 billion U.S. dollars from the same period last year.
Shen said it is hard to judge the overall FDI situation for the whole year based on data for the first two months.
"Our general estimate is that FDI remain steady for the whole year, which means significant rises and drops are not likely," Shen said.
Investment into China's service sector grew slightly by 5.49 percent to 8.45 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months, while investment in agricultrual and manufacuturing sectors dropped 43.22 percent and 10.64 percent, respectively, according to Shen.
The European Union's investment in China surged 34.01 percent to 1.21 billion U.S. dollars, while FDI from the United States dropped 5.37 percent to 497 million U.S. dollars.
China's central regions saw steady growth in foreign investment, with the total figure up 4.76 percent to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, while FDI in the east regions dropped 1.58 percent and investment in the west regions dropped 5.95 percent.
Overseas direct investment (ODI) made by Chinese companies, excluding investment in the financial sector, surged by 147.3 percent year on year to 18.39 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months.