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China's new road map involves investment of RMB 4.7 trillion
Last Updated:2013-06-21 09:46 | CE.cn
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By Li Hongmei

China plans to invest around 4.7 trillion yuan (US$767 billion) to build roads nationally between 2013 and 2030 to meet rising demand for mobility and bolster economic growth.

By 2030, the government aims to have 400,000 kilometers of national-level roads, up from 173,000 kilometers at the end of 2012 under a plan released by the Ministry of Transport and the National Development and Reform Commission, the top planning agency, yesterday. The national-level roads will take up 7 percent of the country's total road network by 2030.

About 2.2 trillion yuan of the estimated spending will go into building and upgrading ordinary roads while 2.5 trillion yuan will be allocated to expressways, Dai Dongchang, the chief planner of the ministry, told a press conference.

While the government will fund the construction of ordinary road projects, private investors will be encouraged to build expressways, Dai said.

For decades, private participation has helped ease a funding shortage amid the highway construction boom, but this has also led to high tolls, public dissatisfaction and rising logistics costs.

However, Vice Transport Minister Weng Mengyong said last month that private financing is indispensable when taxpayer money is more urgently needed in areas such as healthcare and education.

So far private investment has been based on the concept that those who finance projects also get to operate them and collect tolls for a specified period of time to recoup their investment.

One option the government is studying is to extend the concession period for the country's toll road operators to lessen the costs for motorists, Weng said.

In the long run, China aims for only 3 percent of its total road network to be toll roads, according to Dai.

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