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Thursday, March 05, 2020, 23:22
China to scale up infrastructure investment in wake of coronavirus, UBS says
By Pamela Lin
Thursday, March 05, 2020, 23:22 By Pamela Lin

China is expected to increase investment in infrastructure and the industrial sectors to cushion the fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak, with an investment growth rate target this year of between 8 to 10 percent, UBS Securities says. 

Robin Xu Bin, head of regional industrials and infrastructure research at UBS Securities, said during a teleconference on Thursday that investment in highways on the Chinese mainland may rise to reach 2 trillion yuan (US$288 billion) this year.

In a bid to contain the transmission of the virus, factories and companies in China have delayed reopening, but most were rescheduled to resume operations in March. 

Discussing the status of about 300 million migrant workers in China, Xu said there were 200 million migrant workers who had returned to work by the end of February. The rest were going back to their workplaces in the first two weeks of March. 

He estimated that factories will be back to normal and working at full capacity by the end of March. Over 50 percent of construction projects have now restarted, accounting for 20 percent of the total value of output, noted Xu.

The development of infrastructure in the second half of this year will focus on "recovery". Xu said that automation, renewable energy, airport and environmental protection related sectors would benefit along with the announcement of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) at the end of 2020. 

Alex Liu Shuai, an analyst specializing in public utilities and new energy research at UBS Securities, said the new enery sector 

 plans for the new energy sector in the 14th Five-Year Plan will be more positive and dynamic than that in the 13th Five-Year Plan. These will boost new energy-related industries.  


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