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The index fell to 48.3 in February, compared with a final reading of 49.5 in January.

Five third-party payment service providers have received approval to handle renminbi-denominated cross-border payments in the zone.

China's foreign direct investment rose 16.11 percent year-on-year in January to $10.76 billion.

The 123-km underwater tunnel will surpass the combined length of the world's two longest underwater tunnels — Japan's Seikan Tunnel and the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France.

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters analysts forecast a 2.3 percent year-on-year rise.

Yao expects China- Kazakhstan and China-Uzbekistan trade values to meet the target of $40billion and $4billion, respectively, by 2015.

China is on track to outspend the UK, France and Germany combined by 2015, and Asia Pacific remains the only region with a steady increase in defense expenditures from 2009 onwards.

Export grew 7.3 percent year-on-year in January, a whopping 26.7 percentages down from the same period last year.

Mr.Xia also suggested China should do something "bigger" using the local government financing vehicles, or LGFVs.

Nation to relax outflows, encourage outbound investments, experts say

Total profits of China's industrial companies rose 6 percent year-on-year in December, compared with a growth of 9.7 percent a month ago and 17.3 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, according to another report conducted by Hays, a British headhunting company, the average pay increase in China is higher than in other countries in Asia.

China's currency will probably become a global reserve currency like the U.S. dollar, if China can liberalize its capital market as pledged,said Nouriel Roubini.

"China sets no limits on FTZ numbers and no timetables on building them, as long as they meet the requirements of an FTZ," according to a source.

The flash reading dropped to 49.6 in January, down from December's final reading of 50.5 and compared with a broad expectation of 50.3.

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