ADB to focus on environment and inclusive growth in China
Balanced and inclusive economic growth as well as increased protection for the environment top the list of priorities set out by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its new development strategy for the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
ADB’s 2008-2010 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for PRC also puts emphasis on encouraging more private-sector participation in efforts to eradicate poverty in the country and fostering regional cooperation that will allow PRC to play a more prominent role in providing assistance to other developing economies in Asia in partnership with ADB.
“Reducing poverty remains a daunting challenge in PRC. Sustaining growth will be vital for this, but that will not be possible without addressing environmental degradation, growing inequality, and the strains on resources,” said Robert Wihtol, Country Director of ADB’s PRC Resident Mission.
A CPS is the primary planning instrument guiding ADB’s operations in a developing member-country, as well as the monitoring and evaluation tool to track the country’s performance during the course of the CPS.
The goals set out under the CPS support the PRC Government’s 11th Five-Year Plan for 2006-2010 to develop national energy efficiency and environmental protection policies. The priority sectors identified under the CPS are transport and communication, energy, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and natural resources, and finance.
ADB expects to extend up to $1.5 billion in loans and as much as $20 million in grants annually to fund development assistance projects under the CPS.
To achieve inclusive and balanced economic growth, the CPS will focus on poorer provinces and promote integrated rural and urban development. The CPS will also promote efficient infrastructure and energy use and strengthen environmental management.
PRC will tap ADB’s regional cooperation programs to facilitate trade and investment and pursue regional public health and financial stability under the CPS. The country will also promote public-private partnerships in infrastructure finance and help strengthen the development of the financial sector.
Since efforts to reform and open the economy started in 1978, PRC has achieved rapid economic expansion. The country has recorded an average annual gross domestic product growth rate of over 9% during the past three decades.
Despite its economic successes, PRC remains a lower-middle-income country with a sizable number of poor living on less than $1 a day. Millions more have low incomes or are living just above the poverty line. Coastal regions have grown faster, and inequality between urban and rural areas has increased.
The CPS will build on ADB’s successful lending and technical assistance programs in PRC during the past 20 years. ADB recognizes the country’s rapidly changing needs and its ability to contribute expertise and systems to ADB-financed projects.
ADB has been supporting socioeconomic development in PRC since 1986, providing around $18 billion for public- and private-sector projects and extending technical assistance totaling $290 million.
The preceding Country Strategy and Program focused on pro-poor growth by improving the access of the poor to economic benefits. Through the program, ADB funded 24 public-sector projects totaling $4.26 billion, extended $49.67 million in technical assistance, and provided $395.7 million in private-sector project assistance.