Employees at a production line inside a factory of Saic GM Wuling, in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, June 19, 2016. Reuters/Norihiko Shirouzu
Employees at a production line inside a factory of Saic GM Wuling, in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, June 19, 2016. Reuters/Norihiko Shirouzu

China has announced new measures to encourage private sector participation in transport infrastructure to revitalize the economy and foster high-quality social and economic development.

A document released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and another 11 central departments says the government will support and encourage private companies’ involvement in the construction of key railway projects, railway stations, mobile internet services, and the express delivery and logistics sector.

The NDRC said the measures will help improve the quality and efficiency of transport infrastructure and provide strong support for high-quality development. The document aims to help private enterprises gain better market access and treatment on a par with state-owned enterprises.

New measures include leveling the playing field, creating a better business environment, and supporting private sector participation in fields such as the integrated development of 5G, the internet of things and other smart technologies, and parking facilities construction, management and operation.

Dong Xiaoyu, a senior expert at Zhongguancun Development Group, said the move came after China unveiled a document last year on supporting the reform and development of private enterprises.

This was part of the country’s drive to deepen reforms and foster high-quality development.

Consumer price index

China’s consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.5% year-on-year in June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday. The rate picked up from the 2.4% growth in May.

NBS data also showed that China’s producer price index (PPI), which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, fell 0.3% from a month earlier in June.

Dong Lijuan, senior statistician of the Urban Statistics Department of NBS, explained that in the food sector, due to factors such as slowing down the slaughter of pigs, strict requirements for epidemic prevention and reduction in imports, the supply of pork is tight, while the demand for catering and group consumption has rebounded, and the price of pork has increased from last month.

Floods occurred in many places in China, and a cluster epidemic occurred in Xinfadi market in Beijing, which led to short-term shortages of vegetables in some areas. The price of fresh vegetables changed from a decline of 12.5% last month to an increase of 2.8%.

PPI turned from a decline of 0.4% last month to an increase of 0.4%. The year-on-year decline narrowed by 0.7 percentage points compared with last month.

Dong Lijuan noted that international commodity prices picked up, domestic manufacturing industry recovered steadily, and market demand continued to improve last month.

China-Europe railways

The construction of China-Europe railway hubs in Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Xi’an and Urumqi will change the separate status of the cities and better serve freight, says Wang Guowen of the China Development Institute think tank.

China plans to invest 200 million yuan (US$28.53 million) to build the China-Europe distribution hubs to better use railway resources and reduce costs.

Wang, director of the center for logistics and supply chain management at the Shenzhen-based think tank, told the 21st Century Business Herald that most China-Europe freight trains pass Urumqi without stopping.

The new hub will let domestic and foreign goods travel on the same trains to cut costs.

Wang also suggested part of the 200 million yuan be used to build platforms for information sharing and coordinate trains running among the five cities, the report said.

As more cities start to run freight trains between China and Europe, intense competition has emerged over prices and resources, said Wu Jingyu, director of the Asia-Europe land bridge international freight train coordination service center at the China Communications and Transportation Association.

Construction of transportation hubs will enable cities to share resources, cut costs and improve efficiency, Wu said.

Car sales

China’s car sales in June fell 6.5% year-on-year to 1.68 million units, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said. Retail sales were in line with expectations and signaled a continuing recovery in the car market.

Luxury automakers’ sales outpaced the overall market, CPCA secretary-general Cui Dongshu said.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEV), which include battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, hit 85,600. The pure battery electric vehicle sector sold 67,000 units in June, with Tesla accounting for 23% of the market, the CPCA said.

Cui said the association expects NEV sales in the second half this year to be significantly higher than in the same period last year. Car sales rose to 1.61 million units in May, up 1.9% from a year earlier.

The story was written by Huang Wanyi and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. It was translated by Nadeem Xu.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.