David Dollar: The World Bank in China
David Dollar has served as the World Bank's China Director and is currently the U.S. Treasury Department's Economic and Financial Emissary to China.
Before this assignment, Mr. Dollar worked as Director for the development research department of the World Bank, overseeing the Bank’s research on the investment climate and growth. He co-authored the recent World Bank reports Globalization, Growth, and Poverty and Assessing Aid. His earlier work focused on aid and growth, and the determinants of the success and failure of reform programs supported by structural adjustment lending. He has been a key World Bank spokesperson on investment climate, globalization, and the effectiveness of aid.
He has a PhD in economics from New York University and a B.A. in Chinese history and language from Dartmouth College.
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
China's main challenge is environmental management.
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