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WB chief sees China as "very close partner"

Xinhua, April 10, 2014 Adjust font size:

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Wednesday that the World Bank needs China to continue to be a very close partner and the lessons they draw from each other could benefit the world.

"China doesn't need our money, in a sense, but they continue to take loans from us, because we have this wonderful collaborative relationship where we tackle a project, we set up the program, and we do the analysis," Kim told Xinhua before the IMF-World Bank Spring meeting, which is scheduled to open on Friday.

The analysis and the project itself is important for China, because if it holds promise, they scale it up to the rest of China. It is also useful for the World Bank because that experience can then be taken and shared with countries all over the world, Kim said.

"We need China to continue to be a very close partner and we continue to be very impressed with China's commitment to maintaining the reform process, even in the midst of lower growth numbers." he said.

He said the "China 2030 report" that the bank co-compiled with China was supported strongly by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and some of the reform recommendations have been taken by the Chinese government.

In its latest report on China's urbanization, the World Bank took on very difficult issues such as mobility of labor, land rights, and the Hukou system, or household registration system.

China has to go through some pretty fundamental reforms on land tenure and land rights. The Hukou system has to be reformed so that people can move into cities and receive education and health care in cities, Kim said.

"We believe that China would be just as serious about the reforms it had outlined in the urbanization report as it has been about the reforms outlined in China 2030," he said.

Even though China's growth projections have been lowered to about 7.5 percent, he said the World Bank is very impressed with the seriousness of China toward instituting the reforms.

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