China To Pump $318bn Into Infrastructure Projects
A file photograph of the Airport Express train at a subway station in BeijingReuters

China has set the ball rolling for private investment in CN¥ 1.97tn (£205.1bn, €289.5bn, $317.5bn) worth of infrastructure projects, attempts to plug a widening funding gap amid a crackdown on traditional off-balance sheet borrowing by local governments.

China's state planning agency, on 25 May, listed 1,043 proposed public-private partnerships (PPP) on its website, and invited private investors to help fund, build and operate them.

However, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) did not state whether private investors will include foreign firms.

The list includes projects planned for 29 areas including in capital Beijing and in the southeastern Jiangxi province.

On the list, which includes contact details for each project, is a CN¥ 51.9bn project to build two subway lines in the eastern Hangzhou city, and a CN¥ 6.4bn hospital in restive Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province.

The NDRC said: "The publication of this library of PPP projects is to help speed up the adoption of the PPP model, and to encourage and guide social capital into the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities."

Beijing is working hard to contain local government debt, estimated at around $3tn, but the clampdown has adversely impacted existing projects, Reuters reported.

On 15 May, Chinese policymakers ordered banks to maintain lending and not reduce the size of their loans to local government projects under construction, especially urban subways and affordable housing.