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    Manufacturing hub Guangzhou plans projects worth USD945B

    CNA – China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou plans 1,722 projects in 2023 worth over CNY6.5 trillion (USD945 billion), state media CCTV reported yesterday, after the city was hit by COVID-19 curbs in late 2022.

    In 2023 alone, CNY526.1 billion is expected to be invested in the projects which span areas including transport, new energy vehicles and biomedicine, the report said.

    Guangzhou’s infrastructure push echoes policymakers’ calls to spur economic growth, which was hurt not only by COVID outbreaks and restrictions, but by a protracted property downturn and now a fading exports outlook.

    To revive growth, authorities dusted off an old playbook, issuing debt to fund big public works projects.

    The finance minister said the country would step up fiscal expansion in an appropriate manner in 2023 by boosting spending and investment via local government special bonds to spur the economy.

    Over 480 transport infrastructure projects have been scheduled by Guangzhou as the city aims to build itself as an international transportation hub, CCTV said.

    Guangzhou’s development and reform commission official Chen Xu said the city would strive to complete some 30 per cent of planned annual investment by the end of the first quarter, in a bid to shore up growth, according to the CCTV report.

    Guangzhou, a manufacturing powerhouse that is home to nearly 19 million people, suffered the city’s worst COVID outbreaks in November last year.

    After Beijing’s abrupt COVID policy U-turn, analysts expect the surging virus infections may continue hitting businesses and consumers in winter months.

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