The Ministry of Commerce used September's China International Fair for Investment and Trade held in Xiamen to launch its new policy of encouraging Chinese firms to invest overseas. In previous years, the thrust of the fair was to persuade foreign companies to invest in China. However, this year there were also representatives of foreign countries including India, Mexico, South Africa and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations making their pitches to Chinese entrepreneurs.
According to statistics released by the ministry, 7,178 non-financial Chinese enterprises have invested a total of US$10bn abroad, including 443 manufacturing operations worth US$1.2bn. Chinese investment companies have signed contracts to invest US$123bn, in more than 180 nations, with US$88bn actually invested.