Singapore firms\' direct investment overseas totaled 31.7 billion Singapore dollars (25.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2011, up 9.7 percent year on year, trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore said on Monday. The investment in the emerging markets continued to expand strongly. The agency said it assisted companies on 336 overseas projects in 2011, with two-thirds occurring in emerging regions such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates. China accounted for 104 of the 336 overseas projects, which represented a 50 percent increase since 2009. International Enterprise Singapore was approached by more than 34,400 companies looking to expand their operations overseas last year. It disbursed 926 million Singapore dollars (740.8 million U. S. dollars) in financing loans and 60.2 million Singapore dollars (48.2 million U.S. dollars) worth of grants to over 5,500 companies. Teo Eng Cheong, chief executive of InternationalEnterprise Singapore, said it was critical for local firms to look at internationalization as a long-term competitive strategy. \"A global footprint enables companies to build resilience against uncertainties, access new markets, tap on resources and become globally competitive,\" he said.