The World Bank is set to offer China US$1.2bn annually over the next three years, more than double the amount China received over the past two years. The bank said the money would be made available to help improve the climate for investment, speed the transition to a full market economy, clean up the environment, improve farm productivity and develop links between rural producers and cities. It also said that China faced major challenges such as the trend to greater regional inequalities.
The most the World Bank can be exposed to a country at one time is US$13.5bn. China had US$11.8bn outstanding in loans from the World Bank at the end of June 2002, and had to repay US$1.6bn by the end of 2003. This will create enough leeway to enable the bank to increase its lending.