BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China's local governments have set out for "new infrastructure" projects to offset the economic impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak and cultivate new growth drivers.
A total of 25 provincial-level regions have so far put "new infrastructure" projects in their government work reports, with 21 intending to advance 5G network construction, according to the Securities Daily.
South China's Guangdong Province has arranged 1,230 major projects this year with a total investment of 5.9 trillion yuan (about 850 billion U.S. dollars), focusing on 5G telecom networks and inter-city transit systems.
Meanwhile, among the first batch of major projects to be constructed in eastern China's Zhejiang Province this year, 61 percent are in the high-tech field, up from a share of 41 percent in the previous year.
While infrastructure construction would play a key role in stabilizing growth and ensuring employment, "new infrastructure" projects can underpin the high-quality development, Pan Xiangdong, an economist with New Times Securities, told the newspaper.
Local governments are expected to encourage new infrastructure via special bonds, public-private partnerships and credit support, said Pan.
"New infrastructure" refers to digital facilities such as 5G base stations, vehicle charging stations, big data centers, artificial intelligence and industrial internet.