Building on a cooperative relationship spanning over 35 years, the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) discussed by the Bank’s Board of Directors in November 2012 supports China’s goal of a harmonious society. It is informed by the joint study, China 2030 , prepared by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council. The Bank Group’s CPS focuses on three main areas of engagement:
- Supporting greener growth, by helping China shift to a more sustainable energy path; enhancing urban environmental services; promoting low-carbon urban transport; promoting sustainable agriculture practices; piloting sustainable natural resource management approaches; demonstrating pollution management; and strengthening mechanisms for managing climate change.
- Promoting more inclusive development, by increasing access to quality health services and social protection; strengthening skills development programs, including for migrant workers; enhancing opportunities in rural areas and small towns; and improving transport connectivity for more balanced regional development.
- Advancing mutually beneficial relations with the world, by supporting China’s South-South cooperation and China’s role as a global stakeholder.
In addition, the Bank provides client-driven knowledge services that help underpin reforms needed to reenergize the drivers of growth.
The Bank Group’s most valuable contribution in China remains its role in bringing and applying ideas, innovation, and knowledge. The CPS emphasizes knowledge sharing and cooperation through advice and analytical products and through investments at the provincial level that introduce and demonstrate new approaches.
A Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of the CPS, prepared in early 2016, found good progress in implementing the CPS. A Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) published in early 2018 identified the challenges and opportunities for China to achieve the “twin goals” of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. The World Bank Group is preparing a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF), which will be aligned with the goals of the 13th Five-Year Plan and the priorities of the 19th Party Congress. The CPF will be based on the SCD and will also be informed by the joint study, Urban China , prepared by the World Bank Group and the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council, and the ongoing joint WBG-DRC study Innovative China—New Drivers of Growth.
As of June 30, 2018, Bank cumulative lending (IBRD and IDA) to China was more than $61.91 billion for 422 projects. The portfolio is concentrated in environment, transportation, urban development, rural development, energy, water resources management, and human development.
In line with the government’s increased emphasis on growth that is balanced with social and environmental concerns, the focus of the Bank’s activities in China has shifted significantly.
Today, more than 70% of the Bank’s portfolio has environmental objectives, many with global implications. The Bank also pays particular attention to the western and central provinces, where poverty rates are significantly higher than in coastal provinces. About two-thirds of active projects are in lagging interior provinces.
New approaches are also being introduced to finance investments to improve energy efficiency, pilot and expand the use of innovative renewable energy sources, rehabilitate and modernize urban district heating systems, and address air pollution. Urban environmental management is being strengthened to help cities meet challenges such as rapid motorization.
As China develops, collaborative research and analysis are becoming an important part of the Bank’s engagement. For example, China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative Society, a joint research report by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, lays out six strategic directions for China’s future: completing the transition to a market economy; accelerating the pace of open innovation; going “green” to transform environmental stresses into green growth as a driver for development; expanding opportunities and services such as health, education and access to jobs for all people; modernizing and strengthening its domestic fiscal system; and seeking mutually beneficial relations with the world by connecting China’s structural reforms to the changing international economy.
Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization, also a joint research report by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, recommends that China curb rapid urban sprawl by reforming land requisition, give migrants urban residency and equal access to basic public services, and reform local finances by finding stable revenues and by allowing local governments to borrow directly within strict central rules.
Healthy China: Deepening Health Reform in China, Building High-Quality and Value-Based Service Delivery, a joint study on reforming China’s health system in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, and the World Health Organization, recommends deeper healthcare reforms by creating a new model of people-centered quality integrated health care that strengthens primary care as the core of the health system; continuously improving health care quality; empowering patients with knowledge and understanding of health services; boosting the status of the health workforce, especially primary-care providers; allowing qualified private health providers to deliver cost-effective services; and prioritizing public investments.
To meet growing demand from other developing countries to learn from China, the Bank also plays the role of knowledge broker to support China in sharing its development experience.
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
China is IFC’s second largest portfolio country. Since its first investment in 1985 to date, IFC has invested US$13.4 billion (combined IFC's own account and mobilization, including short-term finance) to support over 390 projects across 30 provinces in China. In fiscal year 2018, IFC has invested US$942 million in 20 projects.
IFC’s strategic priorities in China focus on climate change, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, water efficiency, clean tech, green policy and green credit; balanced rural and urban development, including a focus on frontier regions, food safety, scaling up microfinance outreach and capacity, and agricultural linkages; and China’s outbound investment, including partnerships with Chinese firms to invest in other emerging economies, particularly in Africa, mobilizing capital, syndication loans, and sharing knowledge and standards.
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2018