World Bank chief lauds China's progress in poverty alleviation

Added On October 20, 2019

 The World Bank chief says China's economy in the past few decades has led to a "dramatic development" that pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

His remarks came as the world marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Thursday.
World Bank President David Malpass made the remarks at the 2019 annual meetings for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Thursday.
"If I take a step back, all the way into the 1970s, China made a dramatic set of steps forward, in terms of allowing market pricing for agricultural products, and to allowing the market to make some of the decisions, where investments are made, and it was a dramatic development that pulled, literally, hundreds of people out of poverty. "
Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, which represents over 70 percent of global poverty reduction.
Beijing has also promised to wipe out extreme poverty by 2020, ten years earlier than the deadline set by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Bank chief called on China to continue market-oriented reforms, to strengthen rule of law, to boost the competitiveness of state owned enterprises, which are important to China's economic development and further poverty reduction in the country.
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): DAVID MALPASS, World Bank President 01:14-02:07
"There'll be a reduction in the lending from IBRD to China. There'll be continued lending of IFC, and the equity investment from IFC. And, importantly, we do a lot of technical assistance with China, as it thinks about its interaction with the world system."
Malpass also pointed to the challenges faced by the World Bank to realize its poverty-reduction goals.
“There's an urgency to what we're doing because of the challenges facing development. Part of it is global growth is slowing, investment is sluggish, manufacturing activity is soft, and trade is weakening. The challenges of climate change and fragility are making poor countries more vulnerable. This backdrop makes the -- our goals of reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity even harder. About 700 million people still live in extreme poverty. That's about one in 12 people on the planet."
The World Bank chief also highlighted the importance of education. He said his organization is launching a new approach to measure learning called "learning poverty". It looks at the percentage of 10-year-olds who cannot read and understand a simple story. He said the World Bank aims to cut by at least half the global rate of "learning poverty" by 2030.