China welcomed more overseas investment to develop the country's hi-tech industry, a senior official said on Thursday.

“China welcomes more international hi-tech companies to set up regional headquarters, R&D centers, procurement centers and training centers in China, and encourages domestic enterprises to explore overseas hi-tech markets,” Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said in a press conference.

Zhang said utilizing foreign capital efficiently is important for China. Multinational companies have set up more than 1,000 research institutions in the country over the last two decades.

The vice minister also detailed the countries booming telecommunications sector. Over 100 million new subscribers have joined China’s telephone services during the past six years, Zhang said, and the number of phone users nationwide had hit 880 million by the end of August.

Nine major special projects are planned over the next few years to stimulate investing, including integrated circuit and software, new generation mobile communication, next generation Internet, digital voice and video technologies, advanced computing, biological medicine, commercial airplanes, satellite and new materials.