BEIJING Aug 21 China's southwestern city of
Chongqing plans to invest 1.5 trillion yuan ($236 billion) in
seven major industries over the next three years, local media
said on Tuesday, the latest large-scale local government
spending plan to be unveiled.
The China Securities Journal said the Chongqing government
plans to invest in a range of manufacturing sectors including
electronic communications, automobiles, chemicals and medical
equipment. It will also raise spending in research.
The investment is part of Chongqing's five-year economic
development plan that runs from 2011 to 2015, the report said.
It did not say how the spending - worth about 150 percent of
the city's 2011 total economic output - would be paid for.
Nor did it make clear if it was part of a plan to pump-prime
China's economy, mired in its worst slowdown in three years with
2012 set for its worst annual growth in 13 years at 8 percent,
according to a Reuters poll.
No details of plan could be found on the government website.
The southern province of Hunan made waves last month after
its capital city Changsha announced an 829 billion yuan
investment stimulus project. But the plan, worth 147 percent of
the city's 2011 economic output, drew scepticism as it was
unclear how it would be funded.
Despite the evident economic slowdown, China's central
government has been reluctant to authorise a repeat of the
nationwide 4 trillion yuan big-bang investment stimulus of
2008/09, as the country is still smarting from the debt overhang
left in its wake.
Other Chinese cities to have unveiled big spending plans in
recent months include Wuhan, Ningbo and Guizhou, according to
state news agency Xinhua.
Chongqing last year tied with Tianjin in northen China to be
the fastest-growing city in the country, when its gross domestic
product leapt 16.4 percent - far ahead of the national growth
rate of 9.2 percent.
Chongqing was formerly ruled by Bo Xilai, an ambitious
politician fired this year after his wife was suspected of
murdering a British man. She was found guilty and given
suspended death sentence, which means she likely faces life in
($1 = 6.3585 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Nick Edwards)