Chinese railway infrastructure investment will total $117 billion in 2014, says Beijing

Out-Law News | 10 Apr 2014 | 10:06 am | 1 min. read

China will invest more than $117 billion in its railway infrastructure in 2014, Sheng Guangzu, general manager of the China Railway Corporation (CRC), has revealed, according to China Daily.

The money will be invested in a total of 49 new projects, resulting in more than 7,000 kilometres of new railway lines this year China Daily reported, citing an interview with Sheng in the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China. According to the reports, 78% of all construction investment will be in central and western regions.

The announcement follows a Chinese government pledge at last week's State Council meeting to speed up railway construction in the central and western regions of China as the republic moves forward with its plans to increase urbanisation and reduce regional inequalities.

Under its five-year plan for railway infrastructure development, a total of 230,000 kilometres of new railway lines will be built in central and western China between 2011 and 2015, the China Daily report said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also highlighted plans to reform railway financing in the country, which includes plans for a railway development fund worth 200 to 300 billion RMB ($32.25 to $48 billion) a year.

The speeding up of rail infrastructure development is part of China's attempts to boost its economy amidst suggestions that first quarter growth figures for China  may have fallen below the 7.5$ annual growth target, China Daily reported.

Earlier this year China announced that foreign investors will have more opportunities to invest in Chinese state projects and state-owned enterprises, including those in the oil, transport and telecoms sectors, as the government pushes the development of a mixed-ownership economy.