Foreign direct investment (FDI) in July was down 38 per cent from July 2002 to US$3.1bn, the lowest monthly figure since May 2002. Observers were divided between those who blamed the fall on the Sars outbreak and others who thought that the drop might be a blip caused by an unusually strong July figure last year. The first seven months saw a total of US$33.4bn of FDI – up 26.6 per cent from the same period a year ago. JP Morgan remained upbeat on the prospects for the year as a whole, predicting a year-end FDI total of US$56bn compared with US$52.7bn in 2002.
Taiwan approved 1,092 mainland-bound investment applications worth US$2.54bn in the first seven months of this year, up 31 per cent from a year earlier. Nearly 24 per cent of the value went to the electronics and electrical sectors, while the base metal sector took 10 per cent. Jiangsu province accounted for 44 per cent of the total planned investment, followed by Guangdong with 28 per cent.