The World Bank said it is "exploring" the possibility of establishing more offices in China to facilitate its local programs.
"We are seriously exploring it," David Dollar, the bank's country director for China, told China Daily.
The bank's president Robert Zoellick visited China in mid-December and discussed the issue with Chongqing municipality head Bo Xilai. Bo suggested the bank send a special representative to Chongqing to facilitate cooperation if a branch was not immediately possible.
Dollar said that scenario was reasonable. "Most of our activities are at the local government level, provincial or even county level," he said. "We work with a lot of local governments around China."
Establishing a local office would provide more face-to-face contact with local governments, he said.
In Chongqing, for example, the bank and the municipal government want to work together on rural-urban migration, vocational training, foreign investment, improving public transport and energy efficiency.
China is the World Bank's biggest client by number of projects, with 75 currently under way across the country, he said.
(China Daily February 21, 2008)