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China, World Bank to Launch 100 Research Programs
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China and the World Bank has decided to launch nearly 100 research programs concerning the country's economic and social development during the fiscal years from 2006 to 2008, a senior Chinese official said Thursday.

Li Yong, vice minister of finance, said the programs cover China and global economy, poverty reduction and inequality, resources and environment management, financing for rapid economic growth, capacity building of public institutions, involving major economic and social sectors, said the vice minister.

China will step up its cooperation with the bank for better development strategies and more funding from the bank in such key areas as agriculture, public health, education, energy efficiency and environmental protection, he said.

Li noted that China will also cooperate with the bank in energy sectors to explore improved ideas for pricing of resources, reform of the right to use resources, commercialization of energy-saving technology, and development of alternative energy and urban planning.

China is ready to draw on the rich experience the bank has in terms of country comparison of social and economic development and its mature project management mechanism and practices to improve the country's fiscal budget management mechanism and performance evaluation of public spending, he acknowledged.

China and the bank will go on expanding their bilateral knowledge-based cooperation on the footing of mutual benefit for coordinated economic and social development and balanced global development, he said.

China and the World Bank have produced about 140 major economic research projects during the past 25 years since it resumed its membership in the bank in 1980, involving the country's macroeconomy, rural development and finance.

Moreover, the bank has offered a host of valuable proposals for the country's reform and opening up to the outside world and development, he said.

China has become a major recipient of world bank loans during the past 25 years, and the total amount of loans it received has reached 40 billion US dollars.

The bank said it will no longer offer cheaper loans to China due to its improved ability in financing on commercial basis from capital markets.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2006)

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