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China’s State Planner Unveils Steps to Boost Private Investment

China’s state planner has unveiled measures to spur private investment in infrastructure and strengthen financing for private projects.

The latest announcement on Monday comes after China last week released guidelines aimed at making the private sector “bigger, better and stronger” amid a flagging post-pandemic economic recovery.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement that it wants to attract more private capital to participate in the construction of major projects.

The NDRC said a list of sectors ranging from transport, water, clean energy and advanced manufacturing to agriculture will be open to private investors, according to the statement. More specific details on this will be provided later, it added.

Over the past several weeks, investors have been betting on more stimulus measures to prop up an economy that has started to rapidly lose momentum following the initial post-COVID bounce. However, some piecemeal steps announced by the authorities have underwhelmed markets.

In the guidelines released last week, China said it will create a “traffic light” system to make clear the areas in which private investors can invest.

“Significance of improving private investment should be fully recognised” and the NDRC will strive to keep the proportion of private fixed-asset investment among all investment at a “reasonable level”, the statement said.

Private fixed-asset investment shrank by 0.2 percent in the first six months from a year earlier, in contrast with an 8.1 percent rise in investment by state entities, official data showed last week, highlighting weak private sector confidence.

The NDRC also pledged to strengthen financial support for private-invested projects.

A special fund from the central government budget will be set up by the NDRC to give annual support for 20 cities with high private investment growth and strong policy implementation, the statement said.

Source: Al Jazeera