An employee works at a plant in Xiaoshan district of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on June 27, 2022. (Photo/Xinhua)
Regulator stresses project funding, infrastructure and relending facility
China's top economic regulator will continuously promote the implementation of a package of policies to stabilize the economy, further expedite the financing of projects via policy-based and developmental financial instruments, accelerate infrastructure projects and proactively expand effective investment, said an official with the National Development and Reform Commission on Wednesday.
"We have noticed that economic stabilization is speeding up in major economically developed provinces. Industrial growth drivers and investing confidence will continue to increase as the implementation of economic stabilization policies will accelerate, and a series of measures, including the launch of a relending facility to support equipment upgrades, will achieve the desired effect in the fourth quarter," said Meng Wei, a spokeswoman for the NDRC, at a news conference.
"Recently, China announced measures to optimize COVID-19 response and guide local governments to put into practice anti-pandemic measures in a more scientific and targeted way. This is conducive to further promoting unimpeded flows in the economy and the market demand recovery. As for the outlook for the whole year, China's economic growth is likely to accelerate further, and the foundations of the stabilizing and improving economy will be consolidated," Meng said.
Considering that the current international environment is still complicated and the COVID-19 prevention situation is still severe, China must make strenuous efforts to promote a continuous economic recovery in the fourth quarter, she said.
The country has invested 739.9 billion yuan ($104.52 billion) via policy-based and developmental financial instruments since a coordination mechanism promoting effective investment in major projects was established at the end of July.
The government selected a batch of high-quality projects and recommended them to policy banks, which independently chose the projects to invest in, as per market-based principles. Commercial banks are also encouraged to ramp up financing for these projects.
In the next step, the coordination mechanism will push for expediting the start of the projects backed by such financial instruments, strengthen the role of investment in optimizing the supply structure, and promote steady and sound development of the Chinese economy, Meng said.
During the first 10 months, the NDRC approved 97 fixed-asset investment projects worth 1.42 trillion yuan. The projects mainly focus on energy, transportation and water industries.
Factors like policy banks' financing of major projects via financial instruments have played a positive part in boosting growth of infrastructure investment, said Luo Huanjie, senior researcher at the Zhixin Investment Research Institute.
Looking ahead, the production expectations and confidence of businesses will regain strength as China will coordinate pandemic control and economic development in a more targeted way. China's infrastructure investment will maintain a relatively fast pace, and industrial production is resilient with strong adjustment capacity. As a result, industrial production will continue to recover to a normal level, Luo said.
With marginal improvement of the internal and external environment emerging as a trend this month, and various economy-stabilizing policies producing further results, an upturn in the Chinese economy is likely in the fourth quarter, said Wen Bin, chief economist at China Minsheng Banking Corp.