Province regains top FDI ranking from Jiangsu Guangdong absorbed a record US$10.1 billion in foreign direct investment last year, regaining its position as the mainland's top FDI destination from Jiangsu . The inflow, up 34.1 per cent on 2003, made Guangdong the first mainland province to see annual FDI surpass the US$10 billion mark. As the pioneer in opening up to foreign investment, the southern province led the nation in attracting foreign funds for most of the past two decades. However, its No1 national ranking was lost to the eastern province of Jiangsu in 2002 and 2003. There was neck-and-neck competition between Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shangdong last year, with Guangdong only managing to gain the top place in November and December. Hong Kong continues to play a crucial role in its neighbour's FDI . With the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, more Hong Kong companies have invested in service industries such as logistics, convention and exhibition centres, advertising and business consultation. The province obtained US$2.15 billion in actual FDI in service industries last year, Xinhua said on its website. Due to its head start over other mainland provinces, Guangdong has a firm grip on the No1 spot in terms of accumulated actual FDI, attracting US$150.5 billion to date, or a quarter of the national total. Last year, the mainland attracted a record US$60.6 billion in actual FDI, a rise of 14 per cent over the previous year. The Ministry of Commerce said last week that overseas investors had pledged a whopping US$153.5 billion in contracted FDI, last year. Authorities approved 43,664 new foreign-invested companies last year. Meanwhile, the People's Daily yesterday reported that the quality of FDI had improved last year, with more cash flowing into hi-tech and high-value-added industrial projects. It said more foreign funds were also channelled to northeastern provinces, as the mainland's rust belt witnessed a record 78 per cent annual growth in FDI last year.