BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Provincial projects worth more than 1 trillion yuan (149.25 billion U.S. dollars) were launched this week as China strives to boost growth, Shanghai Securities News reported Friday.
The projects are mostly infrastructure-related, with the southwest province of Sichuan introducing nine highway projects worth 128.8 billion yuan.
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north unveiled 366 projects worth 739.6 billion yuan, including infrastructure, industrial parks and city planning.
The projects were unveiled as the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top planner, urged faster approval procedures and vigorous implementation of projects under the country's 13th Five-Year Plan.
In the first eight months, China's infrastructure investment rose 19.7 percent year on year, gaining 0.1 percent from the January-July period, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
"The 20-percent infrastructure investment growth is not enough to stabilize growth. The rate needs to be 22 or 23 percent," said Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications.
The growth of infrastructure investment is likely to accelerate in the fourth quarter with implementation of major projects, faster approval by the NDRC and operation of public-private partnership (PPP) projects, he said.
The NDRC introduced a new list of PPP projects with 2.14 trillion yuan in total investment on Sept.14 as part of its efforts to promote investment amid an economic slowdown.
It approved infrastructure projects worth more than 1 trillion yuan in the first eight months, including nearly 285 billion in July and August.
China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter of the year, the lowest quarterly growth since the global financial crisis in early 2009, but still within the government's target range of 6.5-7 percent for 2016.
A slew of data released this month - from industrial output to retail sales - showed rebounding economic activity in August, boosted by government infrastructure spending and property sales.
Infrastructure investment is a key engine in China's economy, contributing 29.4 percent to total investment growth in 2015.