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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 15:30 GMT
Investing in China gains favour
Shanghai skyline
Shanghai is home to China's best known stock market
China is enjoying unprecedented popularity as a place for foreign companies to invest.

The world's most populous country has now moved to the second most favoured destination after the US, pushing the UK further down the list.


The Asian tigers seem to have regained their roar

Paul Laudicina
AT Kearney
The surge in popularity amongst investors is due to its forthcoming entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the prospect of getting a slice of its growing middle class population.

The findings were the result of a consultation by AT Kearney, which surveyed chief executives from 1000 of the world's biggest companies.

Asia's recovery

And China's newfound popularity is part of a wider trend, with both Singapore and Taiwan moving significantly higher up the index.

"The Asian Tigers seemed to have regained their roar," said Paul Laudicina, Managing Director of Global Business Policy Council at AT Kearney, adding that the survey clearly establishes Asia's return to favour.

Investment hotspots
1. US
2. China
3. Brazil
4. UK
5. Mexico
Brazil and Mexico were amongst the other most favoured countries in the developing world.

"The big emerging markets with robust market opportunities and growing middle classes present the greatest opportunity for investors," said Mr Laudicina.

Rising stocks

Over the past few months, China has enjoyed a surge in both exports and imports.

And China's Shenzhen stock market was the best performer in the world last year, rising 62%.

The Chinese government has just appointed Hong Kong's Laura Cha to be vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

It is the first time that Beijing has filled a high government position with someone from outside the mainland.

Her appointment comes as Chinese regulators increase efforts to crack down on stock price manipulation and market abuse.

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See also:

11 Jan 01 | Business
China reports import surge
10 Jan 01 | Business
China's WTO goal in sight
16 Oct 00 | Business
Strong growth for China's economy
02 Jan 01 | Business
A gloomy year for stock markets
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