ADB confident in China economy, eyes green development

Updated: 2014-01-10 11:22


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BEIJING - The visiting President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao told Xinhua on Thursday that the ADB is confident in China's economic growth and will deepen collaboration with China to achieve "ecological civilization" through green development in the coming years.

Nakao made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the end of his three-day visit to China.

Nakao was elected as new ADB President in April, 2013. During his short stay in China this week, he met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Tuesday and signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday.

Steady growth in 2014

China's economy seems to have lost some steam in recent years. However, Nakao said China has not entered a low-growth period, but is still in a stable period.

"With a projected GDP rise of around 7.7 percent for 2013, China's economic growth has again been exceptionally high by global standards," he said.

According to ADB's latest forecast, infrastructure investment will boost the outlook for China by 0.1 percentage point to 7.5 percent in 2014, compared with the October ADB forecast.

Nakao said growth of around 7 percent might be sufficient for China to achieve its economic and social development objectives.

The structural reforms proposed by the recent party plenary session will likely have a positive impact on China's private consumption and private investment in 2014, he said.

The Asian economy as a whole is expected to witness growth of 6.2 percent in 2014, as growth momentum in advanced economies will benefit developing Asia and the end of US quantitative easing (QE) policy will not have a major impact on Asia, he said.

According to Nakao, developing Asian countries face similar challenges in maintaining financial stability and sustaining growth. China should pay more attention to industrial overcapacity and pollution through structural reforms, he said.

Green development

The heavy smog spreading in many Chinese cities has grabbed the attention of the ADB. The MOU signed between ADB and MEP focuses on prevention and management of air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution and ecosystem degradation.

"Though heavy smog control is a long-term mission, if people become serious, it can change more quickly than imagined," said Nakao.

He said in the short term, Chinese cities need early warning systems and emergency response programs to identify and tackle periodic peaks in emissions, including imposing temporary restrictions on key emission sources and advising the public on temporary measures to reduce exposure to emissions.

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