Business / Economy

Western regions see good growth in investment

By LAN LAN (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-26 09:15

Western regions see good growth in investment

A CRH bullet train travels on the Lanxin (Lanzhou-Xinjiang) High-speed Railway in Hami, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Sept 16, 2014.[Photo/IC]

Infrastructure projects totaling $135b get underway in areas like water, railways

China's western and border regions have enjoyed a surge in infrastructure investment this year, including railways, and will continue to enjoy high levels of spending next year, officials said.

According to the latest figures released on the National Development and Reform Commission's website, 33 infrastructure projects kicked off in 2014 in the regions, worth a total investment of 835.3 billion yuan ($134.7 billion), compared to total investment of 326.5 billion yuan on 20 projects in 2013.

New railways construction particularly-for example, the lines being built from Lhasa to tourism resort Linzhi in the Tibet autonomous region and from Chengdu to Ya'an in Sichuan-will help facilitate a surge in business and tourism to the regions, according to officials.

The NDRC has revealed a long list of new national projects in recent months, emphasizing that infrastructure investment will continue to play a significant role in supporting the slowing economy over the coming 12 months.

The planned new railways and water projects will serve to revive western regions and the intercontinental land routes, said Guo Xujie, an official of the NDRC's department of western region development.

"The new Silk Road initiative has injected more momentum into the development of the western regions, while the new infrastructure projects will bolster the implementation of the strategy," said Guo.

President Xi Jinping first proposed in 2013 that China works with other Central Asian countries to build an economic belt along the route of the ancient Silk Road, in a trans-Eurasian project linking the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.

The NDRC is pushing ahead with plans to build more railway projects, including a line from Zhengzhou in Henan province to Wanzhou in Chongqing, and one from Yuxi to Mohan in Yunnan province, Guo said.

The Zhengzhou-Wanzhou line has already been approved by the NDRC, worth an estimated total investment of 97.4 billion yuan, according to media reports.

Chen Fengying, director of the World Economy Institute at China's Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the new projects are a signal of the country's economic strategy for the coming year.

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