China looks to foreigners to fund infrastructure projects

China wants private investors to help with $55 billion to build up Beijing infrastructure.

China is no stranger to massive investments in infrastructure. It's now the largest investor of infrastructure in the world. And now it's getting more comfortable letting private and foreign investors in on its building spree.

Beijing is wooing foreign and private investors to help with a surge of urban infrastructure projects. China Daily reports that investment will be open for 126 different projects -- from rail and roads to waste management and heating -- totaling $55 billion.

"Private companies will enjoy the same policies in terms of land, price, investment return and supporting facilities as their State-owned counterparts," according to the Beijing Commission of Reform and Development.

Why the focus on more foreign investment? Reuters lays it out:

Policymakers in China are struggling with a quandary; they want to increase infrastructure spending to prop up economic growth rates which have been sagging this year, but they don't want to put more high-risk debt on the books of Chinese banks, which are still struggling to digest the bad loans made during the last infrastructure binge in 2009-2010.

The Beijing government also says that it "will take measures to make sure investors get a reasonable return" on investment, an estimated eight percent.

Photo: Flickr/pmorgan

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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