BEIJING, June 30 (Reuters) - Seven Chinese regional governments are seeking at least 1.5 trillion yuan ($241.7 billion) worth of state and private investment to bolster growth in the world’s second-largest economy, local media said on Monday.
Governments in the provinces of Guangdong, Gansu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi and Henan as well as those in the cities of Chongqing and Changsha are seeking financing for nearly 1,200 projects from state and private investors, China Business News said.
Most of the requests for investment were issued in June with the exception of Henan province in central China and Changsha city further south.
The concerted requests for investment is the latest attempt by authorities to lift China’s flagging economy, where growth cooled to an 18-month low of 7.4 percent between January and March, but has recently shown signs of stabilisation.
The calls for funds suggest China is still reliant on heavy investment to power its economy, but they also underscore officials’ intent to clean up indebted public finances by allowing private investors to provide some much-needed funding.
Some governments did not announce their appeals for funds on their websites, but the solicitations are all reported by a range of state media including the Xinhua news agency.
For Shaanxi province in western China, authorities are seeking investment for 39 projects worth 270 billion yuan, the government said in a statement on its website earlier this month.
The projects include the construction of railways, subways, information technology infrastructure, gas development works and cultural investment, the Shaanxi government said.
Further west in Gansu province, the local government is seeking funding for 100 projects that include the construction of transport networks, power grids and water conservancy works, Xinhua said in a report last week. No figure was given on the value of the projects.
Henan authorities had sought 385 billion yuan of funding for 400 projects in February, according to a statement on the government’s website, while officials in Changsha had sought 101 billion yuan of financing for 86 projects in May.
$1 = 6.2062 Chinese yuan Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Shao Xiaoyi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong