Foreign direct investment (FDI) grew 2.2% to US$12.4 billion in March compared to the previous year as total inbound FDI for the first quarter grew 11.3% to US$34.88 billion, Reuters reported. The focus of said flows point to a continued shift away from manufacturing, which saw FDI fall 3.6% to $11.22 billion in the first quarter year-on-year, and toward services, where FDI rose 24.1% to $21.59 billion. Meanwhile, outbound investment for the period rose 29.6% to US$25.79 billion, as the government encouraged firms to invest abroad to increase their competitiveness, utilize surplus capacity and slow the rapid build-up of foreign exchange reserves.
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