China ap­proves $36bn rail­way plan for Jing-Jin-Ji megac­ity

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

China has ap­proved a 247bil­lion-yuan ($36-bil­lion) rail­way plan to im­prove trans­port links be­tween the cap­i­tal Bei­jing, the port city of Tian­jin, and the neigh­bour­ing prov­ince of He­bei, part of plans to in­te­grate the three ar­eas into a mega-city.

The plan will span nine projects that to­tal 1,100 km (683 miles) in length, the coun­try’s pow­er­ful eco­nomic plan­ner, the Na­tional Devel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, said in an on­line state­ment yes­ter­day. The projects will be built over the years to 2020, and are part of a wider plan that will stretch to 2030, it added. The cur­rent pop­u­la­tion of the three ar­eas is es­ti­mated at around 110 mil­lion, and by the time the plan is com­plete, the so­called Jing-Jin-Ji project will span 212,000 sq km (82,000 sq miles), or more than twice the size of South Korea.

The ex­pand­ing rail­way net­works have cut com­mute time in the re­gion sig­nif­i­cantly, said Steven McCord, re­search head at real es­tate ser­vice firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

“It was not pos­si­ble to go all the way from Bei­jing to Bing­hai and that’s a one­hour trip now. It’s now also pos­si­ble to go be­tween Tian­jin and Tang­shan in less than 30 min­utes, which was pre­vi­ously sev­eral hours’ drive,” he said. “I think there are few places in the world that have that kind of in­te­gra­tion. It has made it much eas­ier to do busi­ness.”

The news helped push up shares of firms that stand to ben­e­fit from the plan. Shares of China State Con­struc­tion En­gi­neer­ing Corp soared 10 per­cent in Shang­hai trad­ing, while China Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Con­struc­tion Co surged 6.5 per­cent.

Shares of China Rail­way Con­struc­tion Corp rose 5.5 per­cent and China Rail­way Group Ltd gained 4 per­cent. — Reuters

MAR­SEILLE: Jour­nal­ists of the left-wing news­pa­per “La Mar­seil­laise”, founded dur­ing the Re­sis­tance, show copies of the news­pa­per as they gather out­side the court­house in Mar­seille yes­ter­day dur­ing a closed hear­ing of the daily news­pa­per. The judges gave an “ob­ser­va­tion pe­riod” of six months to “La Mar­seil­laise” which was in bank­ruptcy since five days.—AFP

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