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China funds projects worth 12.7t yuan in public-private partnerships

Updated: Dec 15,2016 8:42 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has funded projects worth 12.7 trillion yuan (about $1.83 trillion) through public-private partnerships (PPPs) as of October this year, a finance official said.

A total of 10,685 projects were introduced by the end of October, Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said in a speech published on the finance ministry website on Dec 15.

PPPs are collaborative projects between government and private companies.

Chinese authorities have explored funding infrastructure and public works through PPP models since late 2013, amid growing concerns over rising local government debt incurred through local financing vehicles.

PPPs aim to leverage private sector investment to meet the funding shortfalls of local governments.

Many PPPs involve public services such as energy, transport, water conservation, agriculture and education.

In September 2015, the Ministry of Finance started a fund with 180 billion yuan to support PPPs..

The ministry has announced 745 PPPs in the past three years, with a total investment value of 1.95 trillion yuan, covering almost every public service sector, Shi said.

Shi said a basic framework for PPPs has been established, but authorities should strengthen legal protection and improve supporting policies for PPPs.

He also urged local governments to encourage more private investment in PPPs, and remove market barriers in the public service sector.

The central government will send supervision teams to 10 provincial regions to inspect and help solve problems in the implementation of PPPs, Shi said.

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