The Development Gateway China Program began on September 13 with a videoconference attended by participants in Beijing and Washington representing the Ministry of Finance, State Council Informatization Office, Development Gateway Foundation and World Bank, as well as local donors including China Gateway, Gansu Information Center, Shanghai Internet Economic Consulting Center under the Shanghai Informatization Committee, and China Economic Information Center under the State Information Center.
The Development Gateway Foundation -- an independent, nonprofit organization initiated by the World Bank and headquartered in Washington DC -- promotes the use of information and communication technologies for poverty reduction and sustainable development. The Development Gateway's global portal of development knowledge and services has become a center of information-sharing for the world development community. Online communities of specialists have been formed around such key development issues as e-government and foreign direct investment. On the foundation's global public procurement platform called dgMarket, users can access 30,000 open bids from 150 countries on any given day.
China joined the foundation as a founding member in May 2002. The China Gateway portal attracts about 50,000 visitors each month. In April 2004, China signed an agreement to contribute US$1 million in cash and US$4 million in kind to the foundation. The non-cash contribution consists of the operation of the China Development Gateway; establishment and operation of a Research and Training Center in Gansu; establishment and operation of a Research Center in Shanghai; and organization of an Information and Communication Technologies Asia Forum.
The launch of the Development Gateway China Program shows the country's shifting role from a mere recipient to a contributor of financial and technical resources to the international community. Through the program, China aims to contribute to the global and country's efforts to reduce poverty, bridge the digital divide and promote growth with equity.
(China.org.cn September 13, 2004)