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World Bank Suggests Institution Building for China's Sustainable Development

China should build competent institutions in terms of laws, regulations, organizations and social norms to support sustainable development, Zmarak Shalizi, a World Bank economist and director of the 2003 World Development Report, said in Beijing Tuesday at a seminar on the report.

According to the report, sustainable development, as the dynamic interaction of economic, social and environmental issues, demands social coordination assured by competent institutions. So far, many well-designed laws, regulations and policies for poverty reduction, social justice and environmental protection have been left unenforced by the absence of institutions.

"There are at least two things China can do in institution building -- establish the information disclosure system to ensure the benefits of development are widely shared and guarantee the government's money goes where it should be used," added Shalizi.

In fact, the Chinese government is considering putting the environment governance institution reform into the eleventh Five-year Plan, according to Wang Yi, a research fellow of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zheng Yisheng, deputy director of the Center for Environment and Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that besides an institutional absence, the huge inequality between China's eastern and western areas and urban and rural economies also renders policies ineffective.

"It is important to build competent institutions at an early date to relieve China's inequalities," said Shalizi. "It's difficult to distribute the vested assets, but it will be easier to distribute new assets, through competent institutions, at the time they are created."

(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2003)

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