Date
21 October 2017
China Spending $732 Billion On New Railways By 2020

The Big Picture: PRIVATE INVESTMENT

The Chinese government will push forward reforms that will encourage private capital to contribute in the construction and operation of the infrastructure projects led by the government, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei {樓繼偉} said in the two-day G20 meeting in Sydney over the weekend.

The government aims to maintain a stable economic growth, create enough jobs, control inflation and ensure sustainable development in society, Lou said. It will improve the social security system to boost the mobility of the labor force while bolstering support for education and technology.

Apart from the implementation of the value-added tax system, the government will push forward property and personal tax reforms, Lou said. To achieve these targets, it has to improve its information technology platform. 

Lou said China is facing the challenges of an aging population, limited natural resources and rising labor costs. 

Zhou Xiaochuan {周小川}, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said the Chinese government will reform the country’s fund-raising markets in the long term in order to curb shadow banking and increase the proportion of direct fund-raising among all other kinds of financing. The country is aware of the rising debt-to-gross domestic product ratio in the country, which was caused by a high savings ratio in households and high gearing ratio in corporates. 

Zhou said a 7 to 8 percent economic growth rate is good for China as it can ensure sustainable growth for the global economy while not causing too much environmental problems. 

Zhou told other countries’ finance ministers that China’s economic slowdown is due to a shift in the focus of investors from the manufacturing to the infrastructure sector. He also cited the country’s rising environmental protection standards and economic restructuring.

The government is likely to step up its efforts to reform the economy this year as long as the job market remains healthy, observers said. Last year, 13 million jobs were created in China, surpassing the 10 million target.

More action to cut smog in works as Beijing chokes

Mainland authorities are expected to roll out new efforts to cut air pollution after the country’s top legislature meets in early March, the China Securities Journal reported Monday, as smog continued to blanket Beijing and other provinces. The National People’s Congress is expected to approve the Environmental Protection Law, it said. Some congress deputies are also proposing to allow third-party agencies to help control air pollution and to promote public-private partnerships in the sector. Action plans for water pollution prevention and soil pollution reduction are also expected to be unveiled, the report said.

CSRC warns of risks in money market funds

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has warned of risks linked to money market funds, which have mushroomed to have close to 1 trillion yuan (US$164 billion) in total assets under management, the China Securities Journal reported Monday, citing an unnamed source. The commission met with major fund companies and discussed the risks of such funds given that 90 percent of their assets are put into banks. The regulator was looking for feedback on the prospect of letting funds such as Alibaba’s Yu’E Bao invest in short-term bonds as a way to diversify risks arising from a single investment tool, the paper said.

– Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/CG

 

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