BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland rose 0.3 percent year on year to reach 80.36 billion yuan (12.67 billion U.S. dollars) last month, data showed Wednesday.
The reading was an increase from the 73.94 billion yuan posted in December, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in an online statement.
According to the MOC, foreign companies newly established in January surged by 158 percent year on year to hit 5,197, a new high since September 2015.
FDI to the high-tech sector continued to grow in January, rising 42.3 percent year on year and accounting for 21.5 percent of the total FDI, up 6.3 percentage points from a year earlier.
Some 9.95 billion yuan flowed into the high-tech manufacturing industry, a sharp increase of 93.5 percent year on year, with electronics and communications equipment surging by 75 percent compared to the same period last year.
The high-tech service industry drew 7.35 billion yuan, up 4.8 percent year on year. FDI in R&D and design, and information services rose 57.6 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively.
FDI into western China registered rapid growth in January, with total volume up 56.4 percent year on year to hit 4.56 billion yuan, MOC data showed.
The 11 free trade zones drew a total of 8.38 billion yuan, up 55.2 percent year on year, with 593 foreign enterprises newly founded, much higher than the national average.
FDI from Singapore and the United States climbed quickly last month, posting growth of 56.6 percent and 52.2 percent year on year, respectively.
As the business environment continues to improve, China is set to attract steady foreign investment inflows by opening up and easing market access.
"We will also substantially open up the service sector, especially the financial sector, and create a more attractive investment environment," Liu He, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Foreign investment is expected to keep steady in 2018, despite slow growth and an uncertain world economy, MOC official Tang Wenhong said earlier.
In 2017, the country's FDI rose 7.9 percent year on year to reach 877.56 billion yuan.