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China, World Bank pledge $50m for poor

ZHAO YINAN/CHEN JIA
Updated: Jul 17,2015 9:16 AM     China Daily

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 16, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

China and the World Bank signed an agreement to set up a $50 million fund to help reduce poverty on July 16.

The initiative comes on top of their joint efforts to combat the downward pressure on the world economy and advance China’s health reforms.

The trust fund, which is expected to start operating later this year, was approved during a visit to Beijing by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. It will finance investment projects, knowledge development and human-resources cooperation at the global and regional levels, the bank said

Premier Li Keqiang, who met with Kim after the signing ceremony, said China is willing to strengthen its partnership with the World Bank.

The government is paying great attention to suggestions on China’s health reforms arising from joint research by the bank and the World Health Organization, he said.

Li told Kim that the Chinese economy has great resilience, potential and room for maneuver. He was speaking a day after the country posted a better-than-expected GDP growth figure of 7 percent for the second quarter.

Li said the government is capable of handling various risks in the field of economic development and maintaining a healthy level of growth.

“Over the years, China and the World Bank have cooperated closely,” he added.

Jin Liqun (left), secretary-general of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Multilateral Interim Secretariat and China’s nominee for president of the bank, holds talks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on July 16. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi / China Daily]

Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said the establishment of the trust fund signals that “our partnership with existing multilateral development banks is growing, even as we support new ones”.

“We will continue to partner with the World Bank in fighting poverty and promoting development,” Lou added.

Kim began a three-day visit to China on July 15. He and Li discussed the global economy, development finance and health reforms.

Kim said China is a strong partner of the World Bank Group. “I look forward to a continued strong, cooperative and productive relationship,” he added.

Kim met with leaders of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, including Secretary-General Jin Liqun, to discuss closer collaboration between the institutions.

Also on July 16, Li met with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Beijing, and the leaders witnessed the signing of agreements on economic, trade and cultural exchanges.

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