David Dollar: The World Bank in China

China's main challenge is environmental management.
  • Transcript


David Dollar: Well the primary objective of the World Bank is to help developing countries grow and develop, and our main objective is to help countries reduce poverty. So the World Bank has a long history of working in China on different types of projects that have helped reduce poverty. But personally I interpret this mandate quite broadly. I moved to China three years ago for this assignment, and I've come to think that the key challenge that China faces is really environmental management, natural resource scarcity, water, energy, these key resource issues. So I think that the impress of poverty reduction that China has achieved is not going to be sustainable unless China really comes to grip with these environmental challenges. So on a practical level, I've tried to shift our World Bank Program to support a lot of different environmental activities in China, in the water sector, and developing new energy sources. For example, we financed the first big wind power station in China, and demonstrated that this is economically viable. We financed different types of clean energy technologies. So I guess I see what I'm doing as working with Chinese partners to help them address some of their key challenges, and that goes beyond environment; but a lot of our work now is focused on the environmental area.

Recorded on: 7/3/07