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Private infrastructure investors can bid for 80 Chinese projects, says government

Out-Law News | 28 Apr 2014 | 11:35 am | 1 min. read

Private investors in China will have the opportunity to invest in 80 major public infrastructure projects which have been announced by the Chinese government, according to China Daily.

Transport infrastructure projects, clean energy projects and new technology infrastructure projects are among those for which the Beijing government will be inviting private funding, said the state press agency Xinhua. Oil and gas pipeline contracts, as well as coal, chemical and petroleum projects will also form part of the programme.

The projects will be open to public bidding and Beijing will encourage private capital to become involved through joint ventures, sole proprietorship and franchises, said Xinhua.

The State Council also said guidance for foreign investment review and approval will be released as soon as possible, according to state-owned newspaper China Daily, however it is not yet clear exactly what role foreign investors will be allowed to play in the 80 projects.

The government has yet to specify which 80 projects will be included in the programme which it has described as a pilot, as China pursues its previously stated aim of opening up some state-dominated sectors to private investment. In March Chinese premier Li Keqiang told the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) that the government would "formulate measures for non-state capital to participate in investment projects of central government enterprises." Commentators also regard the 80 project pilot as an attempt by Beijing to boost growth, after it recorded growth of 7.4% year-on-year growth in the first quarter of this year, its slowest pace in 18 months, according to Reuters.

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

As part of the on-going policy, the central government will sell $24.2 billion of railway financing bonds this year, the newspaper said. The National People's Congress Standing Committee has said that a railway development fund which welcomes private investment will total between $32 billion and $48 billion annually.

"All the railway projects that have been approved by the State Council should start construction as soon as possible, and preliminary work should be done to ensure railway investment will grow steadily," the State Council said, according to China Daily.

Private-sector investment in China in 2013 accounted for 63% of China's total capital investment, according to the government.