Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mr. Kim's visit to China

This week World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is in China to meet with high-level Chinese officials, visit Bank projects, and also launch some new initiatives and collaborations. Here's a report of Mr. Kim's visit. The World Bank also posted a few pictures.

A snippet from the World Bank news flash:

BEIJING, November 27, 2012 – The World Bank Group and China today launched a new knowledge hub to improve development outcomes, aiming to spread practical knowledge from China’s successes in reducing poverty both within China as well as to other countries. Initially, the knowledge hub will help find environmentally friendly solutions to expand urban transport in China’s cities.

And if you are wondering why this focus on urban transport is important:

Managing urbanization is a priority for China, with about 75 percent of its gross domestic product generated in the largest 120 cities, and 350 million rural residents expected to move into its cities over the next 20 years. The Bank is helping China introduce transport improvements in about 30 cities, focusing on low-carbon emission options such as public transportation, walking and cycling.

The new knowledge hub will speed up the process of analyzing the successes and lessons learned in implementing solutions to urban challenges. [....] The knowledge hub will also help Chinese cities learn from each other. An integrated corridor management approach was introduced in an urban transport project in several cities in Liaoning Province to improve people’s travel speed, reliability, safety, and security in a comprehensive manner, based on successful examples in London and New York. It is now making public transport more attractive in other cities including Taiyuan, Wuhan, Changzhi, Xiangyang, and Xining.


  1. hoi anna! I just noticed the comment above that the bank will help china develop strategies to help urban transpportation. I could not help but notice that when I was there in 1979, they had most of their population on bikes, on foot and in buses.... did any one else notice that there seems to be some irony at work here? I am hoping the initiative will be successful of course but the chinese friends I have might not wish to give up their cars so quickly at this point? happy new year to all the family, erna

  2. Anna, what do you think about "knowledge hubs?" have you seen them succeed much?

  3. The only time I have ever been to China was in 1982 going in through Macao and only really able to explore Guangdong Province. We were in mostly rural areas and ate in communes since there were no restaurants. In the towns, I was astonished by large waves of bicyclists racing down the streets. It was eery because all you heard was the shushing sound from the bikes and bicycle bells. There were no cars at all only PLA transport trucks. So much change in so short a time. It must be dizzying for the older population. I also worry that this emptying out of the rural areas is going to mean agricultural shortfalls (though probably the old labor-intensive model of agriculture has been giving way to a more mechanized model).

    It's now frigid in DC and we finally have snow. So, skating time!