Public-private partnerships (PPP) funded transportation projects totaled 4.5 trillion yuan ($667.6 billion) as of April 2016, official data showed.
The sector was the top destination for PPP investment by the same time, according to the Ministry of Transport (MOT), quoting data from the PPP center under the Ministry of Finance.
Some 11 toll roads, to the tune of 70 billion yuan, were selected to pilot PPP in five provinces in 2015, the MOT said.
The sector is expected to see rising investment throughout the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), which calls for joint efforts from the ministry, financial institutions, science and technology research agencies as well as involvement of private investment, said MOT official Zhao Chongjiu.
The rise of transportation PPP projects accords with the country’s ongoing supply-side structural reform drive, said Hu Yuefei, vice-president of Ping An Bank, calling it a “major shortcut” in upgrading the sector.
China has explored infrastructure and public works concerning PPP projects since late 2013, amid growing concerns over rising local government debt.
PPP will become the leading investment model for China’s transportation infrastructure projects, industry experts said.