BEIJING May 21 China's government is inviting
private companies to participate in 80 major national projects,
spanning energy, information and infrastructure, according to a
list published by the National Development and Reform Commission
The move represents the latest step by Beijing to raise the
role of the markets in areas of the economy previously
monopolised by state conglomerates, including hydro power, solar
energy, wind power, and oil and gas pipelines.
The companies include China National Petroleum Corp
, China Petrochemical Corp, China National
Offshore Oil Corp and State Grid Corp of China
The 80 projects also involve assets owned by China Railway
Corp and China Telecom Group, China United Network
Communications Group (China Unicom) and China Mobile
Communications Corp, the NDRC, China's top planning
agency, said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
Last month, Premier Li Keqiang announced that China would
allow private investment for the 80 projects as part of reforms
to increase privatisation, without naming them.
In the future, more sectors of the economy, including
utilities, airports and oil and gas exploration, also will be
opened to more private investment, he said.
NDRC said on Wednesday that private investors are encouraged
to participate in the 80 projects in the forms of joint
ventures, wholly owned entities or franchises.
Nearly one third of the 80 projects involve traffic
infrastructure - including a subway in Beijing and a railway
linking the northeastern city of Changchun and a town in the
northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Two projects are in the area of information infrastructure
while the rest are energy-related, such as a China Petrochemical
LNG project and a hydro power project in southwestern Sichuan
State-owned infrastructure projects not included in the list
should also invite private investment as long as they are good
for China's economic transformation and upgrade, the NDRC said.
Investment by state-owned companies and provincial and city
governments, which have combined outstanding debt of $3
trillion as of June last year, have been criticised by some
analysts for being inefficient.
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Matthew Miller)