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Rail projects to spur economy

By Lan Lan  (China Daily)

08:12, September 06, 2012

Rail cars manufactured by CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd roll off a production line in Changchun, Jilin province. The cars will be shipped to Harbin, Heilongjiang province, later this month for the city's urban rail-transit system. (China Daily/Zhang Pengfei )

Experts welcome move, but warn of dangers of inflation, bad debt

China's top economic planner announced on Wednesday the approval of 25 new urban rail transit and intercity rail line projects with a total investment of more than 800 billlion yuan ($127 billion) as the world's second-largest economy struggles with a slowdown.

The projects, most of which will take three to eight years, are expected to inject vitality into the country's slowing economy and improve the investment environment, but economists warned of low-efficiency investment.

The estimated investment for the new transit system will exceed 158 billion yuan in Shanghai and 124 billion yuan in Guangzhou, according to statements on the National Development and Reform Commission's website.

Local governments will be major investors, and other financing channels mainly include bank loans.

Residents of second-tier cities such as Xiamen in Fujian province, Taiyuan in Shanxi province, and Lanzhou in Gansu province expect to commute with new subways in the coming years, and transport systems in cities such as Shanghai could become more convenient.

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