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JULY 30, 2020

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China’s pilot REIT program

by Sigrid Zialcita

On April 30, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly announced a pilot scheme to promote REITs in the infrastructure sector. The announcement marks a crucial step to utilize China REITs (C-REITs) as a mechanism for economic revival in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This pilot program will not only assist China in restoring economic momentum, but can also help the Chinese government achieve its objective to build a “strategic infrastructure’’ that will underpin economic resilience and support broader social goals in the long term. Fundamental demand for infrastructure remains strong, driven by factors including income per capita, urbanization level and population density. In addition, the introduction of C-REITs could help to ease the country’s debt burden by funding these infrastructure projects.

According to the pilot scheme, C-REIT projects in key areas should (a) comply with national policies, yield

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