A slew of big projects, with total investment of more than 10 trillion yuan ($1.58 trillion), are about to kick off in a number of Chinese provinces and regions in the new year.
As local governments aim for growth quality and sustainability, most of these projects will be in strategic and emerging industries, such as high-end equipment manufacturing and information technology, as well as infrastructure construction related to transportation and energy.
For example, East China’s Shandong province is ready to launch 900 projects with total investment of 4 trillion yuan this year, according to the province’s development and reform commission. Most of the projects cover emerging industries－such as renewable energy, new materials and high-end equipment manufacturing－and infrastructure construction including the building of high-speed railways and airports.
Emerging industries are expected to account for 30 percent of the province’s GDP growth by 2022 as the province vies to find new economic growth drivers, according to a development plan released on Feb 22.
“Upgrading industrial structure is a hard fight that we must win,” said Liu Jiayi, Shandong’s Party secretary, at a meeting on Feb 22. “We will speed up fostering emerging industries and upgrading traditional sectors, while axing outdated capacity, to improve our economic growth quality and competitiveness.”
Six other provinces, including Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Guizhou, will also see project investment exceeding 1 trillion yuan each this year.
The projects will focus more on poverty relief and environmental protection.
Analysts said local governments are shifting their development strategies in accordance with the call by the country’s top leadership for high-quality development.
Thirteen provinces and autonomous regions have cut GDP growth targets for 2018, with most local governments attaching more importance to innovation and environmental protection, according to government reports delivered at sessions of local people’s congresses.
These projects will lay a solid foundation for future development, said Wu Xiaohua, deputy head of the Academy of Macro-economic Research of the National Development and Reform Commission.
“High-quality development will effectively deal with a series of problems brought on by high GDP growth, such as pollution,” Wu said.
The projects will also offer strong support for traditional industries, such as construction machinery, coal and steel, analysts said.