SDIC vows to boost Xiongan New Area

Updated 2017-04-06 10:01:20 China Daily

An aerial view of Xiongxian county, part of the planned Xiongan New Area, in Hebei province. Photo was taken on April 4, 2017. ZHOU GUOQIANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

SOE set to bring expertise in fund business and capital operations to key projects

The planned Xiongan New Area received another boost when the country's largest State-owned investment holding company by volume said it would help accelerate its construction.

State Development & Investment Corp said on Tuesday that it will tap its expertise in the fund business and capital management to help the brand new economic engine get dimensions of reality sooner than later.

SDIC already counts the infrastructure-related business among its main investments.

Now, it has vowed to actively guide social capital and provide financial support for key projects in the new area, including urban engineering pipelines.

The new area has already received encouraging responses from property and stock markets earlier this week.

The Xiongan New Area in northern Hebei province will include Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties and their surrounding areas. It is part of the government's ambitious plan to develop the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Gao Ting, head of China strategy at UBS Securities Co, said the planned investment in the new area will likely give impetus to overall economic development.

He added if Xiongan becomes the third, or even the second, most important growth pole in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, its GDP may reach 2 trillion yuan (0.2 billion) within two decades, going by the experience in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in Guangdong province and the Pudong New Area in Shanghai.

“Investment in high-grade infrastructure is set to accelerate coming off a very low base, including buildings, rail transit, public utilities, healthcare and education,” he said.

“We estimate Xiongan's total fixed-asset investment could reach 4 trillion yuan over the next 20 years, suggesting substantial demand for cement, steel, rail and transportation.”

Wang Huisheng, chairman of SDIC, said the company would utilize its expertise in investment orientation, structural adjustment and asset management to help develop the Xiongan New Area.

According to Wang, the Xiongan New Area will help shift low-priority activity unworthy of the national capital away from Beijing. But such functions, when integrated into the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, will likely result in an overall better economic structure, cleaner environment and improved public services and, hence, are “crucial for the millennium to come”.

He Lifeng, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the government will continue providing policy, planning and financial support for key projects in the region.

“We'll also give support to major transportation, ecology, water conservation, energy and public service projects in the new area,” he said.

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