Countries along the extensive Belt and Road trade and infrastructure network proposed by China saw their combined investment in the country return to growth in the first nine months, latest official data showed.
A total of 6.12 billion U.S. dollars was invested by these countries in China in the first three quarters, up 18.4 percent year on year, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce.
It was a marked contrast with a decline of 29.3 percent for investment in the Jan.-Aug. period. Investment in financial services jumped by more than 15 times, while that in leasing and business services more than doubled, the ministry data showed.
Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Singapore posted the biggest increases in investment in China in the first nine months. The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which were proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the aim of reviving the ancient trade routes.
The network passes through more than 60 countries and regions with a total population of 4.4 billion. In the first three quarters, Chinese companies' outbound direct investment to countries along the Belt and Road jumped 66.2 percent, according to earlier statistics. China's foreign trade with those countries fell 10 percent in the period, accounting for a quarter of China's national trade.