China's progress in poverty reduction over the last 25 years is enviable. One cannot fail to be impressed by what this vast nation of 1.3 billion people has achieved in so little time. In terms of a wide range of indicators, the progress has been remarkable. Poverty in terms of income and consumption has been dramatically reduced. Progress has also been substantial in terms of human development indicators. Most of the millennium development goals have either already been achieved or the country is well on the way to achieving them.
The world faces unprecedented opportunities to reduce global poverty and improve human welfare. Strong global growth and better economic policies in recent years have substantially reduced poverty in many developing countries. However, with the recent financial turmoil in the United States and rising prices for food, oil, and other commodities, the world economy faces heightened risks and volatility. Policymakers around the world face the challenge of maintaining momentum in growth, as well as of improving the quality of growth.
This paper analyzes the political and institutional factors which are behind the dramatic changes in distortions to agricultural incentives in the transition countries in East Asia, Central Asia, and the rest of the former Soviet Union, and in Central and Eastern Europe. The paper explains why these changes have occurred and why there are large differences among transition countries in the extent and the nature of the remaining distortions.
Capitalizing on the most recent estimates of agricultural price distortions in China and in other countries, this paper assesses the economic and poverty impact of global and domestic trade reform in China. It also examines the interplay between the trade reforms and factor market reforms aimed at improving the allocation of labor within the Chinese economy. The results suggest that trade reforms in the rest of the world, land reform and hukou reform all serve to reduce poverty, while unilateral trade reforms result in a small poverty increase.
This paper sketches a macroeconomic scenario for China for 2010-20. Growth accounting exercise finds that, with both the working population and total factor productivity on course to decelerate, potential gross domestic product (GDP) growth is likely to moderate in the coming 10 years, despite still sizeable capital deepening. Actual GDP should grow broadly as fast as potential GDP, continuing the track record since the late 1990s.
China is experiencing rapid and large scale urbanization, and the resulting local and global urban environmental challenges are unprecedented. The Chinese Government has fully recognized these challenges and is aiming to promote more sustainable urbanization in line with the objectives of the eleventh five year plan, which calls for 'building a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society'. Various initiatives are being pursued to support this objective, both at the national and local levels.
A high-speed rail service can deliver competitive advantage over airlines for journeys of up to about 3 hours or 750 km, particularly between city pairs where airports are located far from city centres. One suitable type of corridor is that which connects two large cities 250-500 km apart. But another promising situation is a longer corridor that has very large urban centres located, say, every 150-300 km apart. On these longer corridors, typical of some being built in China, high-speed rail has the ability to serve multiple city-pairs, both direct and overlapping.
This report presents the results of extensive work of the smart green infrastructure task force commissioned by the World Bank under the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI). The report benefited from advice, ideas, and information about tigers and tiger-friendly infrastructure development from staff at the World Bank, and from several institutions that promote tiger and biodiversity conservation throughout the world.
This global report examines the opportunity for special economic zones to promote women's economic empowerment and boost zone and enterprise competitiveness in developing countries. The research covers Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Jordan, Kenya, and the Philippines. The study focuses on women's economic empowerment in the context of zones at three levels: (i) fair employment and working conditions for female employees; (ii) equal access to opportunities for professional advancement; and (iii) investment opportunities for female entrepreneurs.