BEIJING — With coordinated reform, China can achieve more inclusive and sustainable development, according to the World Bank Group’s latest Systematic Country Diagnostic for China.
The report, subtitled “Towards a More Inclusive and Sustainable Development,” highlighted China’s rapid growth that has resulted in a decline in poverty “unprecedented in its speed and scale”.
“Rapid growth was made possible by a wide range of reforms, which transformed a state-dominated, planned, rural, and closed economy to a more market-based, urbanized, and open economy,” it said.
This is not the first time the World Bank has praised Chinese reforms. Early this month, Ayhan Kose, director of the World Bank Development Prospect Group, said he was impressed by Chinese leaders’ determination.
“Managing the economy begins with recognizing risks and challenges,” he said.
As long as China continues to reform itself, he said, the World Bank is confident that the country will remain a major contributor to the global economy.
Over the past five years, China’s GDP rose from 54 trillion yuan ($8.2 trillion) to over 80 trillion yuan, contributing more than 30 percent of global economic growth.
China’s real income per capita increased 16-fold from 1978 to 2014, while the extreme poverty rate fell from 88.3 percent in 1981 to 1.9 percent in 2013, a shift in status and lifestyle for more than 850 million people.
“China’s remarkable progress in reducing extreme poverty has significantly contributed to the decline in global poverty,” said Hoon S. Soh, World Bank program leader for economic policy for China.
The challenge, the report said, will be to target assistance to the remaining poor while paying attention to those who are vulnerable to falling back into poverty.
The report said reform of the inter-governmental fiscal system and household registration system could reduce income disparities by closing the rural-urban gap and ensuring equal access to education and health services.
Noting that economic rebalancing is under way, the bank said managing the transition in an “orderly” fashion will be critical to achieving the country’s development goals.
“Policies to increase productivity-led growth by promoting innovation, market competition and the private sector would support the achievements of these goals,” it said.