China will vigorously promote public-private partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure and public services investments, said a government official on Wednesday.
About 1,043 projects have been unveiled since the launch of the PPP library, with estimated investments totaling 1.97 trillion yuan ($309.24 billion), said Lian Weiliang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a media briefing.
The government will renovate investment financing mechanism by promoting equity cooperation and simplifying bond issuance process, and encourage private capital to take part in the construction and operation of public facilities, added Lian.
"We will accelerate price reform especially in the projects that may not profit as expected, and establish a fair price discovery mechanism where investors could have stable and reasonable return," said Xu Kunlin, head of the NDRC's fixed investment department.
The capability of local investment financing has dropped since last year for various reasons, therefore local authorities could support PPP projects with capital raised in bond issuance, said Xu.
"Besides policy support, the government plans to work with related parties such as All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce to promote PPP projects to private enterprises," said Xu.
The move comes as China strives to rein in local government debt and lever private capital to fill the funding gap for infrastructure investments.
The projects open for public-private partnerships range from transport to water conservancy in 29 regions, including Beijing.
"Central authorities cleared more than 200 billion yuan from local governments that failed to spend their budget allocations and redeploy it to significant engineering constructions, including livelihood projects," said Xu in a question-and-answer session at the briefing, dismissing such idle fund to be up to 1 trillion yuan.