Foreign direct investment in China in July fell 8.7 percent year-on-year to $7.58 billion, the government said, citing concerns about slowing global growth.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said the July FDI was the smallest in two years, and represented the eighth such decline in nine months. Ministry officials said it was a temporary phenomenon, while economists suggested long-term measures to address the issue, China Daily reported.
Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang blamed both international and domestic factors, saying domestic factors included tight land supply, rising labor costs and lackluster consumer spending. However, he also pointed to long-term attractiveness of investment opportunities in China.
Zhang Xiaoji, director-general of the foreign economic relations department at the Chinese Cabinet's Development Research Center, said the current decline also was a response to lower growth, the newspaper said. He proposed the government allow investors greater access to the service industries and open up some of the remaining sectors in manufacturing.
China's economy as measured by gross domestic product grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, down from 8.1 percent in the first quarter, and was the lowest since the second quarter of 2009.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the "downward pressure" on the economy is "relatively large" and would remain so for some time.