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December 26, 2017

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Transport investment to be steady

CHINA will invest steadily in transport development in 2018, flat with this year, Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng said yesterday.

In 2017, fixed-asset investment in railways and highways was targeted to reach 800 billion yuan (US$122 billion) and 1.65 trillion yuan respectively.

Citing the main transport target for next year, Li said around 5,000 kilometers of highways would be built and put into use.

The country will also renovate about 200,000km of roads in rural areas and increase over 600km of inland waterways.

China will continue to support the construction of roads in poor regions, so as to ensure these areas are connected by highways by 2020.

Over the past five years, China has made remarkable progress in transport development with total length of roads increasing by 534,000km and railways in operation by 27,000km.

In particular, over 7 billion trips have been made through high-speed railways in the 2012-2017 period.

In the following three years, transport will play a bigger role in eradicating poverty and achieving greener, safer development, according to Li.

He also said China will continue to push supply-side structural reform in the transport industry and further lower logistics costs in 2018.

China reduced logistics costs by more than 88 billion yuan in 2017, according to the ministry.

The cuts were made through measures such as the removal of some road tolls in provincial regions and streamlined traffic services, according to the ministry.

The country will expand pilot programs in highway toll collection and streamline some charges in ports, Li said.

Statistics from the National Development and Reform Commission showed the cost of logistics in China took up about 14.9 percent of GDP in 2016, down by 1.1 percentage points from the previous year.

Although the ratio had dropped for four years in a row by 2016, it is still higher than some developing economies.

Authorities have stepped up reform in the transport sector this year to reduce the logistics burden of companies. Rail freight charges were canceled or lowered, while more means of financing were made available to companies in the logistics sector.


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