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China, World Bank Plan Research Programs for 2006-08
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China and the World Bank have agreed to launch close to 100 research programs relating to the country's economic and social development during the fiscal years between 2006 and 2008, Li Yong, vice minister of finance, said in Beijing on Thursday.


Li said program topics include China and the global economy, poverty reduction and inequality, resources and environment management, financing for rapid economic growth, and capacity building for public institutions. The programs would involve major economic and social sectors.


China will step up its cooperation with the WB 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 WB in the area of energy to explore improved ideas for pricing of resources, reform of the right to use resources, commercialization of energy-saving technology, development of alternative energy sources, 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 WB have produced about 140 major economic research projects in the last 25 years since China resumed its membership with the bank in 1980.


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 WB loans, which amount to about US$40 billion.


However, the bank has said that it will no longer offer China preferential interest rates on loans due to its improved abilities in commercial financing.


(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2006)

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