China, APEC, and Sovereign Wealth Funds

Chinese President Hu Jintao pushed the theme of increased Asian infrastructure to stir up demand at the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held this year in Vladivostok, Russia. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s economic planning entity approved 60 infrastructure projects costing around US$ 157 billion.

China is preparing to grow infrastructure development, push urbanization, and further develop social services in the country.

These measures are being produced to try to counteract slower projected GDP growth. This approval is a much smaller Chinese stimulus, then the stimulus package of 2008-09. The NDRC approved 25 rail projects in urban areas. Many of the large Chinese cities plan to have subway systems by the end of the decade.

At APEC, the major issues that were discussed include: trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration, strengthening food security and establishing reliable supply chains.

The China Investment Corporation’s Jin Liqun told reporters on the sidelines of an international sovereign wealth fund forum in Mexico City, “the government is intentionally bringing down the growth rate, from 8% to 7.5% as a target, and I think we can achieve 7.5% for 2012.”

He further added, “the government is not taking this cavalierly, the government is doing a lot of things to help sustain the growth of the economy. In my view if the economy can grow at above 7%, it’s fine.”

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