China takes new steps to boost growth
These include plans to build railways, roads and airports along the Yangtze River - which
connects China's less developed inland provinces to Shanghai.
Meanwhile, China's central bank said it will encourage banks to lend more to exporters
to boost shipments.
The moves, the latest in a series of steps taken in recent weeks, come amid concerns
over a slowdown in China's economy - the world's second-largest.
China's economy expanded by 7.4% in the January-to-March period, from a year ago,
down from 7.7% growth in the final quarter of last year.
After years of robust expansion, China has seen its growth rate slow in recent years,
in part due to a slowdown in demand for its exports from key markets.
Better use of the so-called 'golden waterway' can boost economic integration between
developed and impoverished regions”
China's State Cabinet
In an attempt to sustain a high growth rate, and to rebalance its economy, China has
been looking to boost domestic consumption.
However, there have been concerns that as China tries to move away from an export-led
growth model, growth may slow down further.
Data released earlier this month showed that China's imports declined 1.6% in May, from
a year earlier, underlining fears that domestic demand may not be picking up as fast as
policymakers had hoped.
At the same time, China's exports have also been under pressure in recent months.
Even though shipments rose 7% in May, they had increased just 0.9% in April and
declined sharply in March and February.
On Wednesday, the State Council said that the decision to build a multi-tier transport
system along the Yangtze River will help create a new economic belt along the river.
"Better use of the so-called 'golden waterway' can boost economic integration between
developed and impoverished regions and inject fresh energy into China's economic
growth," the State Cabinet was quoted as saying by the state-owned Xinhua news agency.
According to official data, the 11 provinces and municipalities along the river account
for almost 41% of China's overall gross domestic product.