Foreign direct investment in China grew at a faster pace last month than in September, but many economists expect a marked slowdown for the foreseeable future. Investments jumped 8.75 per cent year on year to US$8.33 billion last month, against 7.9 per cent growth in September. For the first 10 months of this year, foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 15.86 per cent to US$95.01 billion, the Ministry of Commerce revealed yesterday. However, economists widely expect that fewer foreign investors will be attracted to the mainland in the future, where wages and production costs are expected to rise continuously, making investment in the nation's manufacturing sector unattractive. About half of the foreign direct investment over the first 10 months of 2011 flowed into the manufacturing sector, with the rest into the service sector. Deutsche Bank's chief economist, Ma Jun, said: 'The inflow of foreign investment will be steady and slowing towards 10 per cent growth in coming years. A slowdown is good for the mainland, which has got too much foreign capital inflow at present, and risks are growing of an asset bubble.' Ma forecast that the mainland's outbound foreign investment would rise faster than inbound investment, resulting in about a 20 per cent decrease in net foreign direct investment to US$100 billion this year compared with last year. Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said the eastern region of the mainland, where the industrialised hubs are located, saw growth slowing to 15.53 per cent between January and October, just below the national average. He said the ministry would maintain a stable policy on exports, but he stopped short of saying whether that meant the pace of yuan appreciation would slow. He attacked the United States for blaming China's trade surplus on a low exchange rate, which is 'a lie that has become truth after it was repeated 10,000 times'. Shen said China's trade surplus in the first 10 months of this year accounted for 1.4 per cent of the nation's GDP, which was within the 3 per cent global benchmark for balanced trade. He said the yuan had gained against the US dollar since last year, but the trade surplus with the US continued to widen, which showed the yuan exchange rate was not the main factor behind the trade imbalance. The yuan's nominal appreciation against the dollar since the beginning of last year is 7.6 per cent. Yuan appreciation is one of the challenges hurting China's export sector in addition to wage inflation, a nationwide policy of upgrading its industrial sector, labour shortages and lower demand abroad. Shen said about 450 companies in the industrial hub of Dongguan, about 80 per cent of them Hong Kong or Taiwan-owned, were shut down, a figure he described as normal and controllable out of 'hundreds of thousands of factories in China'. The chairman of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Association, Danny Lau Tat-pong, estimated that about 3,000, or 8 per cent, of the 36,000 Hong Kong-owned factories in Guangdong, had been forced out of business. 'Export orders slowed to a trickle recently, but manufacturers are battling for them,' Lau said. The acting provincial governor of Guangdong, Zhu Xiaodan, said on Monday that the province faced a difficult time, comparable to the global financial crisis in 2008, and predicted that its export growth would slow sharply this year.