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WB pledges more cooperation with China
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World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Tuesday that the bank hopes to seek closer cooperation with China on issues of global concern, including development in other parts of the world, energy and climate change.


Speaking at a press conference in Beijing at the end of his four-day China visit, Zoellick said he had discussed potential cooperation for development projects in Africa during his meeting with Li Ruogu, president of Export-Import Bank of China.


China's investment in Africa would help the latter to improve infrastructure, Zoellick, a former U.S. deputy secretary of state and trade representative, said.


The World Bank was also willing to work with China to seek better experience and cooperation models to help African economic growth and to make aid sustainable, he said.


Zoellick said the World Bank wanted to cooperate with China in fields including the integrated development of the nation's urban and rural areas, health care, pension insurance, education and finance.


He also welcomed China's announcement that it would contribute for the first time to the International Development Association at IDA's 15th replenishment meeting that ended on Friday in Berlin.


IDA, a unit of the World Bank, provides grants and no-interest loans to the world's poorest countries.


China became a contributor to IDA for the first time, eight years after it stopped taking loans from IDA in 1999 after receiving more than 9.9 billion U.S. dollars in credit.


"It is a significant breakthrough to have China become a contributor," he said. "It signals China's intention to help shape the international aid architecture through multinational channels," Zoellick said.


With China a stakeholder in the fight against global climate change, Zoellick extolled the country's ambitious targets for reducing energy consumption, improving fuel efficiency standards in cars, and for the important role it played in global carbon markets.


"Supporting China in its effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases is a top priority of the World Bank in China," he said.


This was Zoelick's first visit to China as World Bank president. During the trip, he also visited the bank's projects in the southern province of Guangdong, the southwestern province of Sichuan and neighboring city Chongqing.


(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2007)

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