More infrastructure to prime economic activity and enhance public services is a must to ensure China’s future, but legislative shortfalls may be deterring investors. Richard Li builds the bigger picture of risks and rewards

China’s construction sector is among the busiest in the world. The speedy growth of this huge economy creates endless need for more power stations, roads, railways and other infrastructure to support the rapid expansion of business activity. Perhaps of more importance is improvement in quality of life for ordinary people – the current shortage of public services in education and health is out of kilter with the fast modernisation of the country, and more clean-energy projects are needed to ensure city dwellers don’t choke on pollution.

For these reasons building facilities for a more pleasant and cleaner future has never been more urgent. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, investment in infrastructure projects (excluding electricity) in China from January to July this year amounted to more than RMB4 trillion (US$650 billion) with a 25% year-on-year growth rate, while investment in the supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water reached over RMB1 trillion – a 15.2% increase. Online statistics company Statista predicts that China’s infrastructure spending from 2008-2017 will be US$8.9 trillion, the highest of all emerging markets.

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