In an effort to boost its slowing economy, China approved 693.3 billion yuan ($113.24 billion) worth of infrastructure projects in recent weeks, Reuters reported, citing accounts by state media outlets. The projects will encompass new airports and railways as the world’s No. 2 economy seeks to deal with a decline in real-estate investment.
The investment in infrastructure projects OK’d by the National Development and Reform Commission was announced on the state-run China National Radio, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Overall, five airports and 16 railways will be built in an attempt to revive sluggish property investment. Xinhua cited falling sales and high inventory in the real-estate market as two reasons for the projects.
“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 Ping, chief economist with the Bank of Communications, told Xinhua. He said new airports and railways would be beneficial to local economies, while also improving the long-term growth of the national economy. Work on the new infrastructure projects could begin next year.
China’s economic growth rate slowed to 7.3 percent in the third quarter from 7.5 percent in the second quarter. It was the country’s weakest growth rate since 2009, as measured by changes in gross domestic product.
In a separate attempt to boost slowing growth in the region, China’s President Xi Jinping announced a $40 billion Silk Road Fund for infrastructure Saturday, Xinhua reported. The fund was discussed at a meeting with leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
Fund investments will encompass connectivity and infrastructure projects, including new airports, ports and railways. They will support China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives to improve the economy in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Such a framework accommodates the needs of various countries and covers both land and sea-related projects,” Xi said.