Two major transportation infrastructure projects which will dramatically increase Yunnan's regional and international importance are both seeking investment, according to Chinese news reports.
Southeast Asian rail network looking for funds
Economic ministers from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced at a meeting in Singapore last Friday that they will hold a conference and exhibition to attract investment in a 5,000-kilometer railway network that will link Kunming with Singapore.
According to a joint statement released during the meeting, there are still 550 kilometers of gaps in the network that need to be filled. The remaining work is projected to cost US$2 billion at year 2006 prices.
Once complete, the network will connect Kunming, Dali, Baoshan, Hekou and other cities in Yunnan province with Singapore plus major cities in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
Yunnan Airport Group seeks cash for expansion
Yunnan Airport Group Co (YAG) is seeking strategic investors to assist in financing its upcoming expansion in Yunnan province, which includes a new 18.4 billion yuan (US$2.69 billion) airport in Kunming that will be China's fourth-largest in terms of both passenger and cargo traffic.
YAG is looking for cash-only investors to raise its registered capital in exchange for a maximum 40 percent share in the group. In addition to the Kunming airport, other airport projects will be started around Yunnan.
The new Kunming international airport is a key project of China's 11th Five-Year Plan and is positioned to be an international aviation hub with direct flights throughout Asia as well as to Europe, North America and Australia. The airport is expected to begin operations by 2010 and is projected to handle 38 million passengers and 1.3 million tons of cargo in its first year.
Hong Kong Airport Authority, Australia-based Macquarie Group, and the operators of Singapore's Changi Airport and Frankfurt Airport have reportedly expressed interest in investing in YAG.