China to Invest RMB468.9 Billion for Western Region Development

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Oct. 14 – China plans to invest RMB468.9 billion in projects to further improve the development of its western region this year according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Xinhua reports that the money will fund 18 projects that include railways, expressways, hydropower stations, shipping hubs, water control projects and airports in the region.

Beijing’s strategy to develop its Western region has been ongoing since 2000 and aims to make the underdeveloped region more attractive to investment region by improving its infrastructure and offering preferential tax rates and policies. Since that time, 102 related projects have been launched amounting to RMB1.74 trillion worth of investment.

The development has included major projects like an airport extension in Shaanxi Province, four west-east electricity transmission projects and the engineering marvel, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project and the west-east natural gas pipeline project from Tarim in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to Shanghai.

The Western region because of its relative isolation and poor infrastructure has been falling behind the country’s rich coastal regions where most of foreign direct investment has been pouring in since China instituted reforms.

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