Shanghai announces spending plans

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 November, 2008, 12:00am

Shanghai's top leader has vowed to boost infrastructure construction and government spending to maintain economic growth amid the global financial slowdown, but offered only sketchy details of the plan.

The city would increase spending on infrastructure, including railways, highways and urban roads, Shanghai party secretary Yu Zhengsheng said, but gave no figure for investment. His remarks followed a 4 trillion yuan (HK$4.55 trillion) stimulus plan that Beijing announced on Sunday.

'Maintaining economic stability and relatively fast development is currently Shanghai's main task,' local media yesterday quoted Mr Yu as saying.

Shanghai has already embarked on an infrastructure binge tied to the hosting of the World Expo in 2010. The city plans 67 major infrastructure projects this year, 15 of them newly started, with total investment of 122 billion yuan, officials said in March.

Mr Yu said Shanghai would also increase investment in technology and other industries and projects deemed vital for the city's future.

Scholars said these included high-end manufacturing and the aerospace industry. The city would also develop its suburban areas by building more schools and hospitals, Mr Yu said.

Those attending the government meeting at which Mr Yu was speaking also suggested maintaining the 'stability' of the property market. Shanghai has already announced measures to lower payments and rates for housing mortgages. A government spokeswoman said further details of the stimulus plan would emerge after more meetings.

Shanghai's economy grew an annual 10.1 per cent in the first nine months of this year, but it has not released a figure for the third quarter, which would likely show a slowdown.