World Bank Approves China’s Loan Supporting Yangtze River Green Investments

World Bank
The World Bank released its report, titled “Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle” on Oct. 17. (Photo: REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo)

The World Bank approved China's 200-million-U.S.-dollar loan to be used in its green urban investments in China's Yangtze River Delta region. The Chinese government provides subsidies of up to 60 percent for "green" investment projects in the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

China is heightening its anti-pollution drive. Executives of the World Bank granted the load which will be used for green urban financing and innovation project that are expected to launch and operate the Shanghai Green Urban financing and Services Co. that will focus on Water, wastewater, and solid waste management.

Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China said that the project will bring innovative solutions to help China meet its environmental investment needs and achieve its climate targets under its nationally determined contribution.

The World Bank projected that the environmental infrastructure financing needs are between 40.3 trillion yuan and 70.1 trillion yuan between 2014 and 2030. The bank also expects the urgent need for low-cost, long-term financing mechanisms especially for small cities and towns whose infrastructure needs are poorly served by current financing frameworks. The green projects will be co-financed by a loan of 150 million euros from the German Development Bank.

The National Development and Reform Commission ((NDRC) said in a notice on its website on Wednesday that the government subsidies will be given to projects that address significant environmental problems along the river, as well as transport projects that help to connect river ports to railways and roads.

Originally, the government plans to provide the subsidies to projects in 11 provinces in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. However, the commission said that they will only implement the plan to eight of the provinces which are mainly in the central and western China including Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan.

The NDRC said that the investments projects should not cause "hidden debts" for local governments and strain local finance capacity to qualify for the subsidies. The commission added that local governments will design reasonable local government investment tasks and projects, and strictly control the scale of government construction investment in high-risk areas.

China's policymakers acknowledge the pressure on the economy as investments deterred because of multi-year debt and the pollution crackdowns. China spent more on roads, railways, and ports in response to economic pressure. The government also imposed trillions of tax cuts to aid corporate balance sheets. China also advised state-controlled banks to maintain lending to struggling companies.

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