My thanks to Minister Xie Xuren, to the other distinguished representatives of the Government of China, and to all of you for your presence on this inspiring day.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding opens a new chapter in the partnership between China and the World Bank Group.
In the last 30 years, China has lifted 600 million people out of poverty—an achievement unparalleled in human history. I am proud that the World Bank Group has worked as a supportive partner with China throughout this process.
Today, China continues its efforts to expand economic opportunity for all its citizens, while responding to the imperatives of environmental sustainability. As China tackles these challenges, it is producing a body of knowledge that can benefit many other countries.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed today builds on its collaboration with the World Bank in the past, and establishes a new hub to analyze and share development knowledge. This hub will facilitate collaboration among Chinese and international experts on issues important for China’s progress. It will also provide mechanisms for more effectively disseminating China’s innovative solutions to the rest of the world.
Among today’s most crucial development challenges is urbanization. Managing urban growth is a particular priority for China. About 75 percent of the country’s gross domestic product is generated in its 120 largest cities, and 350 million rural residents are expected to move into the cities over the next 20 years.
China needs urban transport solutions that can provide efficient mobility to citizens, while limiting carbon emissions that threaten sustainability. We are launching a project today
called TRANS-FORM, which will look for new solutions for low-carbon urban transport. To do so, the knowledge hub will connect Chinese practitioners to a global network of experts from the World Bank; the global private sector; research institutions; and successful implementing agencies around the world. Chinese and international experts will problem-solve together and will design and test urban transport delivery strategies. Then, the global network will relay China’s lessons to the rest of the world.
The knowledge hub will also help Chinese practitioners in different cities learn from each other, so that successful innovations can take root rapidly among cities and provinces within China itself. Promising steps in this direction are starting already. For example, Chinese urban transport practitioners are using social networks such as Weibo to facilitate the dissemination, evaluation and adaptation of new ideas. The knowledge hub will further speed “virtuous cycles” of action and learning among practitioners.
We believe this knowledge hub will accelerate China’s progress. And it will help other nations learn from China’s success in delivering development results, so that those countries, too, may lift growing numbers of their citizens from poverty to prosperity.