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World Bank CEO praises China’s reforms

Updated: Mar 23,2017 7:31 AM     China Daily

China’s structural reform has been “really going well” amid rising uncertainties worldwide, said World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist. She stressed that the world needs to think as a community of common destiny.

“In 2016, the world got 2.3 percent growth, very disappointing. More than a third, 35 percent, came from China. That is particularly remarkable because China is rebalancing its economy,” Georgieva told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 2017 China Development Forum, which concluded on March 20.

She added that China’s economic transformation and rebalancing have been going well and are moving forward smoothly, though not without some difficulties.

Hailing China’s commitment to international cooperation, Georgieva expressed her concern over the anti-globalization sentiment seen in some economies.

“There is no way to turn the clock back. Interdependence is so advanced that trying to roll it back would create unnecessary pain for the world economy,” she said, warning that if globalization were to be reversed all would lose.

Meanwhile, she said it is important to recognize that the rapidly changing world economy means that millions of people are anxious about the loss of their livelihoods, and that anxiety has to be addressed.

She lauded China’s Belt and Road Initiative, saying it’s not only an opportunity for China, but also for countries that are becoming more connected.

“It is only natural that, with the size of the Chinese economy growing and the interconnection of China with the rest of the world deepening, China’s role in the world would also be growing,” said Georgieva, former vice-president of the European Commission.

She also hailed China’s efforts to reduce taxes for businesses, which she believes will encourage more startups and bring more entrepreneurial spirit to China. “It is critical for China to implement reforms that press in the direction of more innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said.

Georgieva said China has made “remarkable” achievements in reducing poverty, both within the country and across the border.

As a long-term partner, the World Bank has been working with China to target precisely those who need to be lifted out of poverty. “We are now consulting with the Chinese government to institutionalize our partnership in this regard, so as to share the Chinese experience with other countries,” she said.

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