China eyes $724B transport investment for next three years

World Today

In this photo taken on Saturday December 22, 2007 and distributed by China’s official Xinhua news agency, shown is the locomotive of the first Chinese-designed and manufactured high-speed train CRH2-300 at CSR Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. Ltd. in Qingdao, east China. The train, which rolled off the production line Saturday, is the latest model in the country’s China Railway High-speed (CRH) Series and China’s first locomotive capable of traveling at 300 kilometers per hour, according to Xinhua. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhu Zheng)

China will invest around 4.7 trillion yuan ($724 billion) in transport infrastructure projects over the next three years, according a 3-year transportation plan published jointly by the country’s top economic planner and ministry of transportation on Friday.

The 2016-2018 plan from China’s Ministry of Transport and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will see the country push forward 303 key transportation projects including railways, highways, waterways, airports, and urban rail, it said.

The investment splurge underlines China’s reliance on high-levels of public sector spending, credited by economists as being behind recent signs of improvement in the country’s economy, but also as creating a risk as debt levels rise. The plan said the investment plan would improve the country’s high-speed transport networks and inter-city links to meet the demands of China’s wider economic and social development.

China’s first quarter investment in infrastructure surged almost 20 percent, as the government looks to transport-related sectors to help support wider economic growth.

Story from Xinhua and Reuters.