China launches intensive infrastructure projects to boost economy
Beijing - XINHUA
China has sped up approval for several investment projects over the past three weeks in a bid to stabilize the economic growth amid shrinking investment in the property sector.
State-owned China National Radio reported on Saturday that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the nation's top government agency in charge of economic planning, has approved a total of 21 investment projects between Oct. 16 and Nov. 5 with a total investment value of 693.3 billion yuan (112.5 billion U.S. dollars).
The projects included 16 railways and five airports, the report said, adding these programs aimed to hedge against falling investment in the real estate market, which embraced a downturn since this year with falling property sales, high inventory, and sagging investment.
Lian Ping, chief economist with the Bank of Communications, said that the property sector investment grew nearly 20 percent at the start of the year before shrinking to only 12 percent at the time being. He forecast investment in the sector could further moderate in early 2015.
Considering the forecast, analysts said infrastructure could be a major field to beef up investment.
"We have also noticed that infrastructure projects rolled out some years ago have been basically completed by 2014, but new infrastructure projects for next year are not adequate," Lian said, adding that the slew of projects approved recently should be deemed reasonable investment and non-stimulus on a massive scale.
"Particularly speaking, most railway and airport projects are quite necessary in the country and they are also important to the local economies. If these projects are approved this year, they could be launched early next year, and they will help stabilize the economy in the medium and long term," Lian said.
The world's second largest economy saw slower growth amid deepening reforms for economic restructuring and industrial upgrades. Third-quarter GDP growth slid to 7.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent in the second and 7.4 percent in the first.