Chinese Minister of Finance Jin Renqing Saturday called for developed countries to take due responsibilities to increase their official development assistance as quickly as possible.
In a written statement at the 70th meeting of the Joint Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Fund (IMF), Jin said developing countries need adequate financial support from developed countries to support their structural reform efforts and this is essential to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations.
He said that the overall official development assistance by developed countries is only 0.23 percent of their gross national product (GNP) and it is much lower than the 0.7 percent UN target as a ratio of their GNP and even lower than the level in the early1990s, although some countries have reached the 0.7 percent target.
Currently, military expenditure in developed countries amounts to US$700 billion per year and their agriculture subsidies have reached US$300 billion, whilst their official development assistance is less than 60 billion dollars and this must be changed, he said.
Given the limited time left before 2015, the international community must have a sense of urgency to address the financial gap, which we believe is the center of the discussion on this topic, Jin said.
He stressed that it is the unshakable responsibilities and mutual interests of all countries to support economic development and poverty reduction of poor countries.
China is pleased to note that developing countries have made great progress in policy reforms and their capacity to use the development assistance resources effectively has been improving rapidly, Jin said. Therefore, donors should not use aid absorptive capacity as an excuse to hold up on aid commitment to or fail to take action to increase their additional aid.
(Xinhua News Agency October 3, 2004)