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ADB President Visits PRC and Discusses ADB–PRC Partnership

News Release | 28 May 2019

BEIJING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (28 May 2019) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao today concluded a 3-day visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mr. Nakao met PRC Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Mr. Liu Kun to discuss macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, ongoing development priorities, and ADB’s partnership with the PRC.

Mr. Nakao noted that the PRC recorded stronger-than-expected growth of 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019, backed by strong consumption and a new government stimulus package. Maintaining macroeconomic stability is key for sustainable and inclusive growth in the face of uncertainties regarding trade and the global economy, and the risks from corporate and local government debt.

“I expect that private consumption and service sector will continue to provide growth momentum to the economy. To achieve a more balanced, inclusive, and consumption-based growth, the government is encouraged to strengthen its efforts to increase rural–urban mobility and ensure greater access to health care and education by all people. Reform of the household registration system, or hukou, is a step in the right direction. Local government taxation authority should also be strengthened to increase revenue available for delivering social services,” said Mr. Nakao.

Mr. Nakao and Mr. Liu discussed ongoing ADB projects. Sovereign loans are supporting such important projects and programs for fostering ecological development along the Yangtze River Economic Belt and in western provinces, for reducing air pollution in the Greater Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region, and social sector such as elderly care. In addition, ADB is supporting nonsovereign and PPP (public private partnership) projects in renewable energy, waste to energy, wastewater management, food safety, and microfinance that could encourage further private sector participation in these areas.

Mr. Nakao and Mr. Liu agreed on the importance of ADB’s close cooperation and constructive engagement with upper middle-income countries (UMICs) such as the PRC in line with ADB’s Strategy 2030. They also discussed the introduction of differentiated pricing for future lending to UMICs. ADB’s lending to the PRC will continue to focus on strengthening policies and institutions, climate change and the environment, and support for global and regional public goods. The scope and focus of ADB’s lending program to the PRC over 2021–2025 will be discussed in the context of the ADB–PRC Country Partnership Strategy, which will be prepared next year.

They also agreed that ADB can facilitate the sharing of knowledge between the PRC and other developing member countries.

During the visit, Mr. Nakao and PRC Minister of Ecology and Environment Mr. Li Ganjie signed a memorandum of understanding under which ADB will cooperate with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in pollution prevention and control; environmental protection for rural revitalization; climate change mitigation and adaptation; governance and capacity building; and knowledge sharing on environmental management. They also discussed possible cooperation in the area of ocean health for which ADB launched an action plan at its Annual Meeting in Fiji in early May.

In a meeting with the Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Mr. Ning Jizhe, Mr. Nakao discussed ADB’s support for the preparation of the PRC’s 14th Five-Year Plan in the areas of the environment, urbanization, rural vitalization, inclusive development, and modernization indicators.

Mr. Nakao also visited the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and met AIIB President Mr. Jin Liqun to reciprocate Mr. Jin’s visit to Manila in March. They discussed ADB–AIIB collaboration, including possible projects for cofinancing. Mr. Nakao also spoke before the AIIB staff.

The PRC became a member of ADB in 1986. Between 1986 and 2018, ADB provided close to $39 billion in loans to the PRC, comprising $35 billion for the public sector and $4 billion for the private sector.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.