BEIJING, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (29 August 2018)- Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao and People's Republic of China (PRC) Minister of Finance (MOF) and ADB Governor Mr. Liu Kun met during Mr. Nakao's 2-day visit to the PRC, in which he reaffirmed ADB's support for the country's development priorities. He also met with Chair of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Mr. He Lifeng and Governor of the People's Bank of China Mr. Yi Gang.
During the visit, Mr. Nakao, Mr. He, and Mr. Liu signed a memorandum of understanding in which ADB commits to assist the NDRC and MOF in the implementation of the rural vitalization strategy. The agreement lays the foundation for further cooperation between ADB and the PRC to revitalize rural areas by targeting urban-rural disparities and modernizing the rural economy.
In his discussions with officials, Mr. Nakao explained ADB's new long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030, which recognizes that the ambitious global development agenda must be tailored to specific local circumstances. ADB will strengthen its country-focused approach, promote the use of innovative technologies, and deliver integrated interventions that combine expertise across a range of sectors and themes and through a mix of public and private sector operations.
Mr. Nakao mentioned that ADB will continue to work with the PRC both through sovereign and nonsovereign operations, in such areas as climate change, environment, inclusive growth, and regional cooperation. These focus areas are in line with Strategy 2030 and specified in the Country Partnership Strategy 2016-2020. He also said, "The PRC is one of the world's great success stories in poverty reduction and economic growth, but work remains to ensure that everyone can benefit from this progress."
Mr. Nakao commended the PRC's efforts to take a comprehensive and proactive approach to prevent systemic financial risks and to rebalance the economy, the world's second largest. ADB projects that gross domestic product will reach 6.6% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019, as the government's efforts to focus growth toward domestic consumption remain on track.
ADB's operations in the PRC remain strong. In 2017, approvals of sovereign lending amounted to $1.98 billion, while nonsovereign lending reached $740 million. ADB is supporting the PRC's priorities through initiatives such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Air Quality Improvement Project, which ADB has supported through $1.3 billion to improve air quality in the region through a series of reform programs and projects. ADB is planning to provide $2 billion for the Yangtze River Economic Belt Projects during the 13th Five-Year Plan period of 2016-2020. It will help the PRC address water pollution control and water resources management in the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. To aid the PRC's demographic transition, ADB has been working to support elderly care services provided by local authorities in Hubei and Hebei in partnership with the private sector.
Mr. He, Mr. Liu, and Mr. Nakao reiterated their commitment to promote regional cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), and the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation (GMS) programs.
During Mr. Nakao's 2-day program, he visited the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center for Global University Students at Peking University and held discussion with the young entrepreneurs. He also exchanged views about the importance of education with Prof. Gao Song, Executive Vice President and Provost of the university.
The PRC became an ADB member in 1986. Between 1986 and 2017, ADB provided nearly $38 billion in loan assistance to the PRC, comprising $34 billion for the public sector and $4 billion for the private sector. ADB has also supported the country through knowledge work, with $334 million in technical assistance grants approved since 1986.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members-48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.