MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) have agreed on a new country partnership strategy (CPS) that will focus on innovative projects where ADB can play a catalytic role in addressing poverty, rising income inequality, and widening regional disparities, and in promoting a less carbon-intensive economy.
ADB's Board of Directors today endorsed the CPS that is closely aligned with priorities of the PRC's 12th Five-Year Plan covering 2011-2015, particularly efforts to move the country to a greener and more inclusive development path. The new CPS also reflects the PRC's changing role as a rapidly growing middle income country, with growing emphasis on knowledge sharing to promote South-South cooperation.
"The PRC has achieved rapid economic growth in the past three decades, but critical development challenges remain," said Stephen P. Groff, ADB's Vice-President (Operations 2). "The ADB-PRC partnership is increasingly based on innovation and the development and sharing of knowledge, management experience, technology, and international best practices."
The new strategy is built on three pillars: inclusive growth; environmentally sustainable growth; and regional cooperation and integration. The CPS will focus on natural resources and agriculture; energy; transport; and urban development, with lending and technical assistance centered around new technology, green or social development, and enhanced synergies with regional cooperation and integration programs. Aside from direct financing, ADB will continue to support microfinance, small and medium-sized enterprise finance, green finance, and municipal finance.
"Lending will focus primarily on pilot projects that can be scaled up and replicated through domestic financing," said Robert Wihtol, Director General for ADB's East Asia Department. He cites the example of a concentrated solar thermal power plant project that will test leading clean energy technology with the aim of increasing the share of non-fossil fuel consumption from 8.3% in 2010 to 11.4% by 2015.
More than 90% of ADB's programmed lending operations will focus on the less-developed interior regions to support inclusive development. ADB will strengthen technical and vocational education and training by helping to boost enrollment at post-secondary vocational schools to 13.9 million by 2015, up from 12.8 million in 2009.
The PRC is at the center of the global climate change challenge, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world's total carbon emissions in 2009. Poverty is still pervasive in the less developed interior regions, with more than 100 million rural people having been reclassified as poor late last year under the government's new poverty line.