World Bank eyes African joint financing in China

World Bank eyes African joint financing in China

BEIJING – The World Bank has proposed to China the idea of joint financing development projects in Africa, a senior bank official said on Thursday.

The bank sets strict policy conditions for its loans, whereas China has drawn criticism of late for adding to the debt burden of developing countries, especially in Africa, by lending with few strings attached. But James Adams, the World Bank’s vice president for the East Asia and Pacific region, said he did not think differing approaches to conditionality would constrain their cooperation.Speaking at the end of his first, week-long trip to China in his new job, Adams said Chinese officials had sent out a strong message that Beijing wanted to pool strengths with the World Bank in many countries in Africa.”We’ve had constructive discussions and we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to find a broad range of activities where we can work together,” he said.He said China was adamant about not imposing policy conditions when it lends to Africa, where its trade and investment ties are growing rapidly as it seeks to secure oil and minerals to feed it booming economy.”Given that position, the challenge is, in the areas that they want to work, is there an appropriate framework for investment and will that investment be productive?” he said.Adams thought it would be possible to reach agreement in most cases.Moreover, Chinese companies work to government standards that the World Bank judges adequate.Indeed, about a quarter of all projects that the World Bank puts out for international competitive bidding is won by Chinese companies, Adams noted.He said there was scope for Chinese contractors to expand in areas such as the provision of technical services as well as health and education.Nampa-ReutersBut James Adams, the World Bank’s vice president for the East Asia and Pacific region, said he did not think differing approaches to conditionality would constrain their cooperation.Speaking at the end of his first, week-long trip to China in his new job, Adams said Chinese officials had sent out a strong message that Beijing wanted to pool strengths with the World Bank in many countries in Africa.”We’ve had constructive discussions and we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to find a broad range of activities where we can work together,” he said.He said China was adamant about not imposing policy conditions when it lends to Africa, where its trade and investment ties are growing rapidly as it seeks to secure oil and minerals to feed it booming economy.”Given that position, the challenge is, in the areas that they want to work, is there an appropriate framework for investment and will that investment be productive?” he said.Adams thought it would be possible to reach agreement in most cases.Moreover, Chinese companies work to government standards that the World Bank judges adequate.Indeed, about a quarter of all projects that the World Bank puts out for international competitive bidding is won by Chinese companies, Adams noted.He said there was scope for Chinese contractors to expand in areas such as the provision of technical services as well as health and education.Nampa-Reuters

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