China recorded the worst drop-off in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the final two months of last year as its Zero Covid policy ended. Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that the CNY76.6bn in actual utilised new FDI in December was almost 29% lower than the same period a year earlier. That followed a 33% drop in November, the largest fall in FDI going back to 2015. The slumps were even worse than the drop-off in investment seen in early 2020 when the pandemic began. FDI fell nearly 26% year-on-year that February as Wuhan went into lockdown. For the entire 2022, however, investment rose 6.3% to a record CNY1.2tr. Foreign businesses became increasingly pessimistic about the Chinese market last year as Zero Covid lockdowns and restrictions undermined the economy.
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