China to spend $960b on roads for 2013-2030

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will allocate about 4.7 trillion yuan (S$960 billion) for road projects between 2013 and 2030, the Ministry of Transport said on Thursday, in the latest step by policymakers to underpin growth in the world's second-largest economy.

China plans to have about 400,000 kilometres of roads across the country by 2030, compared to 173,000 kilometres by the end of 2012, Dai Dongchang, an official from the Ministry told a news conference.

Ordinary road building and renovation will get 2.2 trillion yuan while the remaining 2.5 trillion yuan will be spent on highway construction, Mr Dai said, quoting a national plan for a road network.

"The funds used for ordinary road projects will mainly come from government fiscal spending while we will continue to enforce diversified investment and financing policies for highway building, including encouraging private investors," Mr Dai said.

China said in September 2012 it had given the green light to 60 infrastructure projects worth more than US$150 billion (S$189 billion) as part of a slew of pro-growth policy initiatives.

China's economic growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter this year from a year ago, down from a rate of 7.9 percent in the previous three-month period, and weak activity this year has raised the possibility of a further slowdown.