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August 24, 2016

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National projects to lift economy

CHINA is pushing forward a raft of national projects to boost the economy and underpin growth for several years, said the National Development and Reform Commission yesterday.

“The current progress is satisfactory and we will intensify efforts in the next stage,” said Hu Zucai, deputy director of the NDRC.

Hu promised reduced red tape and more policy support in land, capital and human resources.

China’s top legislature approved 165 major projects early this year, covering technological innovation, industrial upgrades, infrastructure construction, environmental protection and improving people’s living conditions.

The projects, which will be implemented over a five-year period starting in 2016, include a poverty relief program covering 55.75 million rural residents and the world’s first quantum communication satellite.

Although no specific figures on total investment were unveiled, the program will likely attract trillions of US dollars with private investment playing an important role.

“The government welcomes the participation of private investors,” Hu said. New models such as public private partnerships will be encouraged for better operations, while policy barriers will be removed and easier market access will be granted.

He said the projects will bring opportunities for lackluster private investment to regain momentum.

Private sector investment climbed 2.1 percent in the first seven months, slowing further from an already weak 2.8-percent rise in the first half and in sharp contrast with double-digit annual growth in the past decade.

The government believes the ambitious program will provide a major boost to a flagging economy by stimulating investment, boosting domestic demand and improving economic structure.

China’s economic growth came in at 6.7 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level since the 2009 global financial crisis.


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