The Private Sector and Power Generation in China (World Bank Discussion Papers)

"...the Chinese government remains aware of the potential threats to the economy (foreign capital flight, loss of competitiveness, drop in consumers' confidence, etc.) and is striving to continue to provide a stable environment for domestic investment and household consumption to maintain growth." Since the early 1980s, the Chinese Government has eased restrictions on the power industry and ensured private participation in power sector development. In the aftermath of the Asian economic and financial crisis, concerns are being raised about Chinese currency (Renminbi) devaluation and the impact of the slowdown of electricity growth on the implementation of past contracts and new investment opportunities. To address these concerns, China's Ministry of Finance and the World Bank sponsored a two-day conference, held in Beijing June 22-23, 1999. The conference aimed to improve understanding and narrow the gap in perceptions of risks related to project development among government officials, representatives of provincial power companies and financial institutions, and private investors. The first part of this publication is dedicated to the narrative summary of the conference. The second part presents a background paper prepared for the conference to take stock of the progress achieved and identify issues and problems that still need to be addressed to create an environment conducive to further private involvement in power sector development. This publication will be useful to the international community that is interested in past and future development of private sector involvement in China's power sector, such as, Chinese government officials, power companies, private financial institutions, and private investors.