BEIJING (AFP) - Foreign direct investment in China rose 7.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2010, the government said Wednesday, signalling growing confidence in the outlook for the Asian nation. China attracted 23.4 billion dollars in FDI in the first three months of the year, vice commerce minister Ma Xiuhong told reporters. In March alone, total foreign investment China rose to 9.38 billion dollars from 5.89 billion dollars in February, based on AFP calculations. Foreign direct investment rose 4.86 percent to 14.02 billion dollars in the January-February period. The figure shows investment by overseas companies in industries such as manufacturing, real estate and agriculture but excludes money put into banks and other financial institutions.