January 6, 2017 / 9:39 AM / a year ago

Chinese state firms pledge to invest $17.6 billion in Tianjin

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Twenty Chinese state-owned enterprises have agreed to invest 121.7 billion yuan ($17.57 billion) in the coastal city of Tianjin in support of a plan to develop it and surrounding area into a mega-city.

Apartment blocks are pictured in Wuqing District of Tianjin, China October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

A statement carried on the State Council website on Friday said the firms include the State Power Investment Corporation, which will invest 2.9 billion yuan on a thermal power plant, and China Communications Construction Corp which will spend 500 million yuan to build a subsidiary’s office.

Other pledges came from Huadian Power International Corporation, COSCO Shipping Corporation and Poly Real Estate Co Ltd, the statement said.

The Chinese government has been campaigning for an integrated megacity of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province since 2014, in an effort to ease pressure on its crowded capital by transferring industries further out to the other two cities.

It dubbed the area “Jing-Jin-Ji”, using shortened versions of the names of the cities and province.

In November, Xinhua reported that more than 420 Beijing-based companies have opened offices in Tianjin and made pledges to invest 160 billion yuan.

($1 = 6.9248 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Brenda Goh

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