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China's Belt and Road investment hits high as overall FDI falls

Record sum poured into initiative in 2017 looks set to be beaten this year

BRI in progress: A freight train bound for Malaszewicze, Poland leaves the railway port in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, China.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese capital flowing into Belt and Road Initiative projects surged 30% on the year to a record $20.1 billion in 2017, even as the country's overall outbound foreign direct investment fell for the first time, dropping 19%.

Data from the commerce ministry shows BRI investment in 64 countries in 2017 surpassed a previous high of $18.9 billion in 2015. And that record looks set to be beaten again this year -- Chinese investment in Belt and Road countries, excluding in the financial sector, already jumped 12% on the year to $9.5 billion in the first eight months of 2018.

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