In January, the Commerce Ministry announced a fall in FDI levels with little hope of investment levels improving this year. New FDI commitments fell 6.5% to $10.5bn in 2007, although the figure for the fourth quarter increased 12.6% over the previous year to $4.19bn.

The ministry forecasts steady FDI inflows of about $10bn for 2008. Challenges for foreign investors include concerns about the strong labour union movement and a lack of transparency in the application of regulation.

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“The slowing economic growth in developed nations remains a negative factor,” said the ministry.