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ADB report highlights cooperation with China
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Balanced and inclusive economic growth as well as increased protection for the environment top the list of priorities set out by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its new development strategy for China.

Sources with ADB's China office said on Monday that ADB has just approved its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for China between the period of 2008-2010.

The new strategic report also puts emphasis on encouraging more private-sector participation in efforts to eradicate poverty in the country and on fostering regional cooperation that will allow China to play a more prominent role in providing assistance to other developing economies in Asia in partnership with ADB.

"Reducing poverty remains a daunting challenge in China. Sustaining growth will be vital for this, but that will not be possible without addressing environmental degradation, growing inequality, and the strains on resources," said Robert Wihtol, Country Director of ADB's China Resident Mission.

A CPS is the primary planning instrument guiding ADB's operations in a developing member-country, as well as the monitoring and evaluation tool to track the country's performance during the course of the CPS.

The goals set out under the CPS support the Chinese government's 11th Five-Year Plan for 2006-2010 to develop national energy efficiency and environmental protection policies.

The priority sectors identified under the CPS are transport and communication, energy, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and natural resources, and finance.

ADB expects to extend up to $1.5 billion in loans and as much as US$20 million in grants annually to fund development assistance projects under the CPS.

To achieve inclusive and balanced economic growth, the CPS will focus on poorer provinces and promote integrated rural and urban development. The CPS will also promote efficient infrastructure and energy use and strengthen environmental management.

China will tap ADB's regional cooperation programs to facilitate trade and investment and pursue regional public health and financial stability under the CPS. The country will also promote public-private partnerships in infrastructure finance and help strengthen the development of the financial sector.

It is reported that ADB's preceding Country Strategy and Program for China focused on pro-poor growth by improving the access of the poor to economic benefits.

Through the program, ADB funded 24 public-sector projects totaling $4.26 billion, extended $496.7 million in technical assistance, and provided $395.7 million in private-sector project assistance.

(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2008)

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