Belt & Road can speed devt, needs transparency: World Bank

June 19, 2019 09:24
A file picture shows Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at a Belt and Road Forum. Beijing's infrastructure drive can help improve the lives of millions of people in developing countries, says the World Bank. Photo: Reuters

China’s Belt and Road infrastructure drive can speed up economic development and reduce poverty for dozens of developing countries, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

According to the bank, the Belt and Road plan, which involve a string of ports, railways, roads and bridges and other investments connecting China to Europe via central and southern Asia, can lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty conditions if implemented fully, Reuters reports.

Still, the initiative comes with “significant risks” given a lack of transparency and institutional issues in some of the participating economies, the World Bank was quoted as saying in a new report.

“Achieving the ambitions of the Belt and Road Initiative will require equally ambitious reforms from participating countries,” Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, World Bank vice president for equitable growth, said in a statement.

“Improvements in data reporting and transparency - especially around debt - open government procurement, and adherence to the highest social and environmental standards will help significantly,” she added.

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