China has seen a rapidly growing presence of foreign-funded firms in its economy over the past five years thanks to a more favorable business environment, official data showed Tuesday.
A total of 196,500 foreign-funded firms were established from 2011 to 2015, which brought about an investment of 1.39 trillion U.S. dollars, data from the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) showed.
This brought the total number of foreign-funded enterprises in China to 481,200 by the end of 2015, with accumulative investment reaching 4.54 trillion U.S. dollars, according to the SAIC.
The number of new foreign firms and the amount of their investment grew faster in the last couple of years, especially after the establishment of free trade zones in Shanghai and other cities or provinces, and the introduction of reforms designed to facilitate foreign investment, said a statement of the SAIC.
During this period, the service sector attracted the most foreign investment, with nearly 160,000 out of the 196,500 firms going into the sector with investments worth 598.3 billion U.S. dollars, the SAIC data showed.
The trend was in line with China's overall economic restructuring. Foreign firms have been putting an increasing amount of funding into wholesale, retail, renting, business services, science research, technological services and the financial sector, said the SAIC.
In the meantime, the number of foreign-funded manufacturing companies in China dipped by an average pace of 3.3 percent each year in the five years, the data showed.
In the 2016-2020 period, China will continue its efforts to make the country a preferred destination for foreign firms, officials had said on many occasions.