Beijing, December 7, 2006: "China has a lot of lessons to offer for other developing countries" said new World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Region James Adams upon completion of his first trip to China in his new position. Mr. Adams started his trip in Guizhou province and met with officials of a variety of government departments and other donors in Beijing.
Mr. Adams focused his trip on the question how China and the Bank can cooperate in sharing the country's experience with the rest of the world. "China's poverty reduction has been a very big part of global poverty reduction in the last decades and I think it would be very good if that experience can be more widely shared," Mr. Adams said. Among the lessons he took away from China, Mr. Adams said, were that "country ownership of reforms, strong capacity, fiscal prudence and learning from others have been key to China's success." Mr. Adams noted he had a constructive dialogue with a number of agencies on China's growing presence abroad, notably in Africa, a region where he had spent time since the early seventies. He had proposed concrete steps to work together with China on overseas' assistance, possible in the form of joint financing of some pilot projects a vehicle to combine the strengths of China and the Bank. "The relationship with China is clearly evolving and is becoming a very productive two-way street of exchange in ideas" Mr. Adams said.
The Bank's program in China will remain substantial. "Our new Country Partnership Strategy recently approved by the Board includes a lending program of $1-1.5 billion dollar per year," David Dollar, World Bank Country Director for China said. The Country Partnership Strategy is aligned with China's 11th five year plan, and focuses on poverty reduction, environment, and China's increasing role in the world economy."We see as our main role in China as twofold: to offer policy suggestions and implement innovative solutions for China's development challenges," Mr. Dollar said. During his time in Beijing, Adams discussed some of the challenges for the country, including environment, rural and social development, and rising income inequality. "I am very impressed with the initiatives announced in the 11th Five Year Program, which is very comprehensive in addressing sustainable and equitable development," Mr.Adams said, noting that his trip to Guizhou had made him more aware of the complexity and diversity of China's remaining development challenges. "We are supporting the authorities in implementing the Plan," Mr.Dollarsaid, "with increased focus on inland regions." Mr. Adams met with authorities to discuss key programs in poverty alleviation, including rural health insurance, rural infrastructure, vocational training for migrants and rural finance.
In his talks in Beijing Mr. Adams also discussed the current impasse in the Doha round with the authorities, noting that China can play a useful role in these negotiations. He mentioned that China's example of successful trade opening could serve others: "China's opening up and its entry in the WTO has been a resounding success." Mr. Adams said. Since the 2001 annual growth has averaged 10 percent, trade has grown by almost 30 per cent, and poverty has continued to fall, from 16 percent of the population in 2001 to 10 in 2004. "Clearly, the world has benefited as well," said Mr.Dollar, noting that the last three years were record years for world growth and that if measured in comparable prices, China's growth contributed almost 29 percent of world growth in 2005, and 21 percent of world trade growth.