Japanese companies were increasing their investments in China, attracted by lower costs and growing domestic sales, a researcher with the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) told South China Morning Post. Japanese investment in China reached ￥109.9bn (US$840m) in the financial year ending March 2001, 31 per cent higher than in the previous financial year. The researcher expected double digit growth to continue into 2002. However, these figures were well short of the highest total recorded, the ￥431.9bn achieved in 1995.
This revival of interest was foreshadowed in a Jetro survey conducted last October of the investment intentions of 720 Japanese company executives. Of the 300 who said that they were intending to invest abroad, 287 named China as their first choice of destination. The main reason given for the choice was the lower cost of production.