Road building revival offers rare hope for India infrastructure overhaul

Strapped for cash, New Delhi is pushing a model known as build-operate-transfer (BOT) to help the economy and fix ageing infrastructure. Photo: Reuters

K Ramchand, managing director at one of India’s biggest road builders, is doing something unusual to help dispel the gloom pervading much of the country’s infrastructure sector today: bidding for new projects.

Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 1:39pm

Investment in environmental projects lowers mayors' career prospects, study finds

Investment in environmental projects lowers mayors' career prospects, study finds

Investment in transport infrastructure improves a mainland mayor's chances of promotion, while spending on environmental improvements lowers them, a research paper using data between 2000 and 2009 has found.

17 Jun 2013 - 5:51am 1 comment

China's big spenders on infrastructure must generate better returns

China's big spenders on infrastructure must generate better returns

Fixed capital formation stands at a record high of 46 per cent of gross domestic product in China. A free bottle of Scotch goes to the first person who can show me any country with a higher ratio.

2 Jun 2013 - 3:59am 2 comments

Inner Mongolia lures Hong Kong investors

Over 1,000 Hong Kong firms are operating in Inner Mongolia.

Inner Mongolia is promoting 200 projects at the Inner Mongolia-Hong Kong Economic and Trade Co-operation Week, said Zhang Lei, a deputy director of the Inner Mongolia branch of the National Development and Reform Commission.

30 May 2013 - 3:54am

Quietly, Sino-Pakistani projects gather pace

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) talking with Pakistan's Senate Chairman Nayyar Bukhari, as former speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly Fehmida Mirza looks on. Photo: EPA

There's much more to Pakistan-China relations than meets the eye. Both nations never really talk of real co-operation that involves big money and grand strategies. High-profile state visits, which have enormous symbolic and political value, are no guide to the real depth of relations.

29 May 2013 - 6:16am

Myanmar urged to copy Hong Kong development model

Myanmar's infrastructure is dwarfed in size by other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam, while much of its property dates from colonial times. Photo: AFP

To meet the enormous cost of funding Myanmar's infrastructure and property development, the impoverished country should adopt Hong Kong's land sales model. That is according to speakers at the recent Myanmar Urban Development Conference.

22 May 2013 - 5:16am 1 comment

Vulnerable Tai O in need of help

Fire swept through a cluster of the Tai O fishing village's famous stilt houses, leaving 10 households homeless. Photo: Nora Tam

Tai O fishing village is an enduring tourist attraction that owes little to the kind of extravagant spending and promotion lavished on theme parks. It thrives on the timeless appeal of a simple, traditional lifestyle that attracts residents and visitors alike. Unfortunately, a marriage of modern amenity with authenticity does not always confer protection from fire, storm and tempest, as we were reminded by the fire that swept through a cluster of the village's famous stilt houses and left 10 households homeless.

6 May 2013 - 2:55am

Chinese bidders on a roll with Asia rail projects

Manila's metro system is expanding and mainland companies are keen for a slice of the action. Inroads have been made into India and Thailand is a key target. Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese companies had expressed interest in winning transport contracts in the Philippines, said Rene Limcaoco, undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communications, at the recent Asia Pacific Rail conference in Hong Kong.

3 May 2013 - 5:14am

Guangdong warned over infrastructure spending

Guangdong plans to complete 17 intercity railway projects in the Pearl River Delta by 2015, costing 111.2 billion yuan. Photo: Xinhua

Guangdong's decision to invest 1.41 trillion yuan (HK$1.77 trillion) to beef up its infrastructure over the next three years has been described as dangerous by analysts, since the province is already knee-deep in debt.

25 Apr 2013 - 5:38am

Premier pledges continued steady investment growth

Roads are high on Beijing's list of priorities, despite concerns over their profitability. Photo: May Tse

The mainland will continue to increase investment at a "reasonable" pace, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying yesterday, while promising to control risks arising from the pile of local government debt.

18 Apr 2013 - 5:33am

UK woos Chinese capital for infrastructure revamp

Paul Deighton says Britain offers a low-tax environment with plenty of opportunities and upside for inward investors. Photo: May Tse

The British government is stepping up its courtship of potential Chinese investors in UK infrastructure projects, promoting low tax rates and steady returns as the country's own construction sector struggles in an economy teetering on the brink of a triple-dip recession.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:56am

Rising number of projects and labour shortage to keep construction costs high

A scaffolder undergoes training. The industry aims to make construction work more attractive to ease labour shortages. Photo: Edward Wong

Construction costs in Hong Kong are expected to rise sharply over the next two to three years because of an increase in infrastructure and residential developments and a shortage of labour.

17 Apr 2013 - 5:31am

Myanmar's poor infrastructure holds it back but Hong Kong firms see opportunities

Buildings go up in Yangon, where infrastructure is unable to keep up with breakneck development. Photo: AFP

The 320-kilometre bus ride from the commercial centre of Yangon to Naypyidaw, the new capital carved out of the jungle by the junta in the past decade, takes 6-1/2 hours. But traffic jams are not to blame for the slow pace. On the contrary, traffic is only seen occasionally on the main route between the old and new capitals. Rather, substandard construction techniques are to blame for the slow, sometimes bumpy ride.

8 Apr 2013 - 4:04am 1 comment

Fears raised over huge debts involved in Beijing's infrastructure plans

The railways ministry's debt doubled from 1.3 trillion yuan in 2009 to 2.66 trillion yuan. Photo: Bloomberg

The Ministry of Transport announced on its website yesterday that 397.4 billion yuan would be spent on roads, airports and ports this year, 0.1 per cent more than in 2012. The Ministry of Railways, in a bond prospectus, earmarked 650 billion yuan of capital expenditure on railways this year, 3 per cent up on last year.

7 Mar 2013 - 6:12am

NWS seeks to splash cash for acquisitions overseas

NWS seeks to splash cash for acquisitions overseas

Infrastructure and services conglomerate NWS Holdings, which was sitting on more than HK$6 billion in cash at the end of 2012, is looking at acquisitions in Britain, Europe and Australia, according to the company's executive director, Tsang Yam-pui.

27 Feb 2013 - 4:44am