China’s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) maintained steady growth in the first seven months of the year, official data showed Thursday.

Non-financial ODI in 153 countries and regions amounted to 432.92 billion yuan (about 61.6 billion US dollars) in the period, up 3.3 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In July alone, the ODI surged 25.5 percent year on year to 68.06 billion yuan.

During the first seven months, Chinese companies added a total of 7.97 billion dollars of investment in 52 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, accounting for 12.5 percent of the total.

The structure of outbound investment continued to improve, with investment mainly going into sectors including leasing and business services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail as well as mining.

“No new projects were reported in sectors such as property development, sports and entertainment,” the statement said.

The value of newly signed overseas contracts hit 820.1 billion yuan during the first seven months, up 1.9 percent year on year.

The number of newly signed overseas projects with a contract value exceeding 50 million dollars came in at 436 during the period, up 18 from a year earlier.

Major overseas projects were bringing mutual benefits. By the end of last month, Chinese companies had provided 812,000 jobs for local people, the statement added.