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Public finance reforms key to sustain dynamic progress
Feb '08
China, the world's fourth-largest economy and third-largest exporter, requires reforms to government finance to meet its dynamic needs, says Public Finance in China: Reform and Growth for a Harmonious Society, a new World Bank book.

China's growth rate of about 9 percent a year over the past decade helped reduce its poverty rate from 60 percent of the population to less than 10 percent. However, such rapid growth has increased inequalities in income and access to basic services, and strained natural resources.

In its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10), the government seeks to resolve these issues by shifting priorities from the overriding pursuit of growth to more balanced economic and social development—an undertaking that will require strengthened public finance.

In the new book, policymakers and academics explore the many dimensions of public finance, from fiscal reform and revenue assignments to fiscal transfers, delivering public services, and maintaining growth and tackling inequality. The editors are Jiwei Lou, former Executive Vice Minister of Finance and currently Chairman of China Investment Corporation, and World Bank Senior Economist Shuilin Wang.

“Contributors to this book include some of China's most important economic reformers – people who actually designed policy during the country's successful emergence. This book represents an excellent example of how China takes active policy debate and follows it up with experiments on the ground,” said Jim Adams, World Bank Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific.

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