BEIJING: Foreign direct investment in China fell in January for the third straight month, figures showed Thursday, and a commerce official warned of a tough year ahead due to the European debt crisis.
Investment by overseas companies fell 0.3 percent year-on-year to $10.0 billion last month, the commerce ministry said, compared with $12.2 billion in December.
"The foreign investment situation this year is relatively grim," commerce ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters.
He said uncertainties over global economic growth, particularly Europe's fiscal woes, had dragged on foreign investment in China.
Inward investment from Europe fell 42.49 percent from a year earlier to $452 million in January, figures showed.
But US investment rose 29.05 percent to $342 million as Walt Disney Co. brought in funds for a theme park currently being built in the commercial hub of Shanghai, Shen said.
He gave no figures, but investment in the Disney park has been estimated at $3.7 billion.
Foreign investment from countries in the Asia-Pacific region -- which accounted for the bulk of total investment -- rose slightly, edging up 0.77 percent to $8.59 billion.
Shen said growth in foreign direct investment was weak all over the world, but he added China's rising costs and labour strife would have a negative impact on overseas investment in the Asian powerhouse. (AFP)