June 18, 2019 / 6:20 PM / a month ago

World Bank: China's Belt and Road can speed development, needs transparency,

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) - China’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure drive could speed up economic development and reduce poverty for dozens of developing countries, the World Bank said on Tuesday in a new report that called for deep policy reforms and more transparency for the initiative.

The long-delayed report said that the Belt and Road, a string of ports, railways, roads and bridges and other investments connecting China to Europe via central and southern Asia could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty conditions if implemented fully.

“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. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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