China’s infrastructure effort shifts to roads and airports

China’s National Development and Reform Commission has approved a $31bn programme of work on roads and airports in what is being seen as an effort to maintain the country’s high rate of economic growth.  

Earlier this year, the focus was on the rail sector, after the commission, which is China’s main planning agency, decided to build five railway lines costing a total of $25bn. 

The high rate of investment in infrastructure follows fears that the country has built too many residential units, leading to a slump in the value of property. It is also hoped that the provision of better communications will stimulate private sector spending: one of the government’s main macroeconomic goals is to rebalance investment between the public and private sectors. 

The commission announced that $13bn will be used to build a third international airport in Beijing, in addition to Capital, which is nearing its design capacity, and Daxing, where work is just getting under way.  

Five roads will also be built in the provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong, Sichuan and elsewhere in the south. 

Investment in China grew at its slowest pace for 13 years between January and November at 15.8%. China’s economic growth has declined to 7.3% this quarter, the lowest since the financial crisis in 2008.

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