The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on last Friday that overseas investments by Chinese firms increased 26% year-over-year to US$6.9 billion. During 2005, 1,067 Chinese funded enterprises received approval from the Ministry of Commerce for expanding in the overseas markets. Around 60% of the investments, or US$2.4 billion, was destined for Asian countries including Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Africa attracted 6.9% of China's overseas investments and Latin America attracted 16%. Chinese government has been encouraging domestic enterprises to invest in overseas markets, increase the presence in market share and build international brands.