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WB: Public finance reform will be key to sustained progress in China
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16:21, February 01, 2008

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China needs reforms to government finance to meet its dynamic needs, says a book launched in Washington Thursday by the World Bank.

As the world's fourth-largest economy and third-largest exporter, China's growth rate of about 9 percent a year over the past decade helped reduce its poverty rate from 60 percent of the population to less than 10 percent today.

However, such rapid growth has increased inequalities in income and access to basic services, and strained natural resources, notes the book -- Public Finance in China: Reform and Growth for a Harmonious Society.

In its 11th Five-Year Plan, the book says, Chinese government seeks to resolve these issues by shifting priorities from the overriding pursuit of growth to more balanced economic and social development - an undertaking requires strengthened public finance.

In the book, policymakers and academics explore many dimensions of public finance, from fiscal reform and revenue assignments to fiscal transfers, delivering public services, maintaining growth and tackling inequality.

The editors of the book are Jiwei Lou, former executive vice minister of finance and currently chairman of China Investment Corporation, and the World Bank Senior Economist Shuilin Wang.

"Contributors to this book include some of China's most important economic reformers - people who actually designed policy during the country's successful emergence," Jim Adams, the World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, said at a press briefing.

The book represents an excellent example of how China takes active policy debate and follows it up with experiments on the ground, he said.


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