REGIONAL> Major News
Guangxi follows central govt example
By Huo Yan and Li Aoxue (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-13 07:07

The Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will spend 300 billion yuan ($44 billion) on transport projects in the next five years, following the central government's call to boost the economy by increasing investment.

"After the projects are completed, Guangxi will have a comprehensive transport network linking it to neighboring provinces and many Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries," the region's governor Ma Biao said at an economic forum on Tuesday.

The region will spend 115 billion yuan on railways to extend the tracks by at least 2,180 km. And it will spend 120 billion yuan to build or expand highways and expressways.

Work on a high-speed rail link between Nanning, capital of the region, and Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, started on Sunday. It will cut the traveling time between the two cities from 13 to 3 hours.

"The project is expected to be completed in four-and-half years and cost about 41 billion yuan," said Chen Boshi, chief of Nanning railway administration.

Guangxi will raise its port handling capability, too, to 230 million tons by 2012. The central government has already announced plans to expand its two airports, in Nanning and Guilin.

ASEAN has become a big trading partner for Guangxi, with the two-way trade reaching $1.08 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 130 percent year-on-year.

Since the announcement of the State Council's 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package on Sunday, local governments have rolled out ambitious investment plans to boost local economies:

Chongqing, China's fourth-largest city, said on Monday that it would spend 300 billion yuan in the next five years on a number of sectors such as housing and environmental protection.

Guangdong, which accounts for one-eighth of China's GDP, said it will invest 2.37 trillion yuan on 222 projects covering a wide range of industries.

And Sichuan will soon announce specific plans to spend 20 billion yuan on the reconstruction of quake-hit areas.