China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has given its approval to the second significant urban railway project this year, a move that comes as the world’s second-largest economy aims to improve the pace of its growth.

The state planning authority has approved a $14bn plan to expand the Suzhou Rail Transit network in eastern China.

The project comprises four lines with an estimated total length of 137km, reported Reuters.

This decision comes after a CNY78.7bn ($11.3bn) urban rail project in Changchun was approved earlier.

“Construction is slated to begin this year and complete in 2023.”

In the recent months, the government suspended several infrastructure projects due to growing debt.

China is now looking at strengthening its domestic demand given that a trade conflict with the US has added pressure on its economy. There are fears among analysts that the country is moving towards a debt-fuelled growth.

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According to data, the country’s growth of fixed asset investment had seen a record drop in the first half of this year. Growth in infrastructure spending also slowed to 5.7% in the first seven months, from 7.3% in the first six months.

Expansion work on Suzhou Rail Transit network is slated to begin this year and complete in 2023.

Besides providing jobs, this expansion is expected to increase demand for metals such as steel, aluminium, zinc and copper, which are used in making wires, rails and cars, reported the news agency.