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We Are Here to Learn the Best of China: World Bank President

President of the World Bank James D.Wolfensohn said here Tuesday China has made impressive achievements on poverty reduction and one of the important themes of the Global Conference on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction is to learn the best of China's experience.

Sponsored by the World Bank and the Chinese government, the conference has attracted more than 800 domestic and foreign participants, including leaders of China and some other countries, representatives of international organizations and officials at the ministerial level.

Poverty is not only an economic matter, it concerns of education, health care and other social issues, said Wolfensohn, adding that it's a very important moment of building up ideas of how to solve the problem of poverty.

"Over the past two decades, China has done a remarkable job in reducing poverty, taking more than 400 million people out of poverty of living under one US dollar a day, and that is a pretty good record," he said.

"What's more, in more and more places, the Chinese government is prepared to provide assistance to other developing countries and we are happy to see the trend is likely to be continued."

But the purpose of this meeting is not to take Chinese experience, it is to take elements of China's experience and the elements of other experiences, because special challenges related to special countries," he said.

"What impresses me most is the time frame in which the government sets up five-year plans, which are reviewed, updated and managed according to changes, and this is critical for the poverty reduction in China," said Wolfensohn.

The World Bank now has 90 projects in China and has continuing programs with the Chinese government, he said." In more than 20 years' cooperation with China, we have very close friendship, very close understanding and very deep commitment."

The Global Conference on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction is aimed to accelerate efforts in reducing poverty through assessing best practices and sharing valuable knowledge among developing countries.

Developing country practitioners and policy makers from around the world will analyze near 100 cases of poverty reduction and illustrate successful and not so successful examples, which would provide high visibility to approaches that really worked in reducing poverty on a large scale within various economic, social, and institutional contexts.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2004)

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