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Premier urges resuming production of major investment projects

Updated: Mar 18,2020 05:34 PM

Premier Li Keqiang called on accelerated resumption of major investment projects, during the State Council executive meeting on March 17.

On March 13, Premier Li watched a video while inspecting the coordination mechanism of foreign trade and investment. It showed few workers on the site and only one pile driver operating at some places. "The production recovery at major investment projects is unsatisfactory," he said.

The sites were the Samsung memory chip project in Xi'an, the biggest foreign investment project in China's electronic information industry since reform and opening-up; the $10 billion project invested by BASF in Guangdong, the first large-scale petrochemical integration project wholly owned by foreign investors; and the petrochemical project in Zhoushan, China's first petrochemical project controlled by private capital, with an investment plan of over 200 billion yuan.

It is commonly believed that major investment projects mean railway, road and other infrastructure projects, but that's not true, Premier Li said, adding that the 11,000 ongoing projects also involve people's livelihoods, and are invested by both the government, and private and foreign capital.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak, investment in fixed assets has declined sharply this year. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, fixed-asset investment fell by 24.5 percent in the January-February period.

To stabilize investment and expand domestic demand, governments across regions should help major projects under all types of ownership tackle shortages in labor, raw materials supply, funds and protective gear, to hasten the progress of the 11,000 ongoing projects nationwide.

The meeting also decided to expedite the issuance and utilization of local government special bonds, urge for solid preparation for 4,000 new projects scheduled to break ground this year, and establish "green channels" to accelerate the approval process of major projects.