The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) announced that China's foreign debt grew 13% year-on-year in 2003 to US$193.6 billion. SAFE said the primary reasons for the growth of foreign debt were rapid economic growth attracting money from overseas and high domestic lending leading Chinese firms to borrow money from abroad. The increase in China's foreign debt in 2003 was a sharp change from 2002, when foreign debt decreased by 0.92%. SAFE said China's currency reserves, which reached US$415.7 billion in January, were sufficient to cover its foreign borrowings.
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