Date
20 October 2017
General City Scenes As China Urges Economic Policy Implementation to Spur Rebound

The Big Picture: WATER PRICING

Under a new nationwide pricing mechanism designed to reduce water wastage, China will make heavy users of the vital resource pay more, a senior official reiterated Thursday. Guo Jianying {郭劍英}, deputy inspector of the price department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said in a webcast on Xinhua Thursday that low rates had led to a lot of water waste.

“We are facing a shortage of water while at the same time allowing heavy wastage of such resources,” he said. A progressive pricing system, in which heavy users will pay more than those who consume less, may help resolve the problem, Guo said.

He said about half of the country’s cities have already started using the pricing scheme and the results were positive, suggesting the system should be implemented nationwide. The NDRC is also considering rolling out a new system in which water rates will vary with the seasons.

Observers expect heavy water consumers, such as leather, glass and metal suppliers, will be seriously affected by the new water pricing mechanism. On the bright side, more penalties on the high pollution industries will take forward the nation’s strategy to protect the environment and reduce obsolete capacity. 

Li pushes Sino-US investment pact

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang {李克強} is hopeful of progress in talks on a bilateral investment treaty with the United States, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday. Li called for a level playing field for Chinese investors in the US and easier regulations regarding US technology transfers to China. In addition, he urged both sides to enhance coordination on macroeconomic policy, adopt responsible domestic economic policies and participate in regional economic integration. Li made the remarks during a meeting with former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson.

Disney said to invest 8.7 bln yuan in Heifei cultural park

The Walt Disney Company, through a subsidiary, is said to have chalked out plans to invest 8.66 billion yuan (US$1.42 billion) to build a cultural industry park in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, news portal Sina.com reported Thursday. The project, covering an area of 80 hectares, will be in the city’s Binhe New Area. The company is reported to have inked a cooperation agreement with the Binhe New Area authority.

US investors get indirect access to mainland stocks

China has given approval to two domestic fund managers to offer products in the United States for the first time, giving US investors indirect access to Chinese stocks, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Exchange-traded Funds offered by Bosera Asset Management and Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd. will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The two funds were issued under the renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor scheme.

COSCO top executive under investigation

China COSCO Holdings Co. Ltd. (01919.HK, 601919.CN) said its executive director Xu Minjie is under government investigation for unspecified offenses. The shipping firm said in a regulatory filing that the probe will not have any significant impact on its operations. Meanwhile, former chairman Wei Jiafu has been barred from leaving the country, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/AC/RC

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