GReCEST member influencing international development agendas
GReCEST members have proactively played a role in shaping international dialogues and agendas towards the goal of promoting transformation in developing countries. For example, the Institute of New Structural Economics (INSE) at Peking University has pioneered in bringing economic structural transformation into the 18th replenishment meetings for International Development Association (IDA).
In 2016, the International Development Association (IDA, part of the World Bank Group) conducted the 18th round replenishment negotiations (IDA18) in order to secure financial support for its operations for the next three years. The major shareholder countries and donor countries used this process to explore the future strategic directions and policy trends of IDA and the World Bank Group (WBG), so as to better serve the implementation of the 2030 Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). China, as the largest developing country, is the third largest shareholder of the World Bank Group and an emerging donor to the IDA. The negotiations provided a valuable window of opportunity for China as well as developing countries to impact on the strategy and policies of the largest development agency in the world.
The Executive Deputy Dean of INSE, Dr. Jiajun Xu, was invited to attend the first meeting of the ‘China and IDA Policy Dialogue’ in Shanghai in January 2016, proposing to include ‘economic structural transformation’ as one of the key topics for the WBG in the next three years. This proposal received active support from the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China.
In March 2016, the first meeting of the IDA18 replenishment was successfully held in Paris, France. The meeting initially agreed that ‘Jobs and Economic Transformation’ should be regarded as a new special topic for IDA18.
In June 2016, INSE, the Department of International Finance and Cooperation of the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China, and IDA held another round of policy dialogue to further elaborate the key elements around the issue of ‘Jobs and Economic Transformation’. These included economic transformation driven by agriculture, the use of special economic zones to achieve structural transformation, development financing as a means to promote structural transformation, the new concept and practice of China-Africa development cooperation, and in-depth discussions of the implementation of IDA18 ideas and related initiatives.
These efforts directly contributed to the fact that the December 2016 IDA18 announced Jobs and Economic Transformation as the WBG’s first priority area. It further approved important measures such as the creation of employment opportunities through structural transformation, the improvement of employment equality for young people and women, the support for the private sector and workers in high-risk environments, and the improvement of a knowledge platform in support of employment and economic structural transformation. All these measures are targeted to promote IDA countries to achieve the SDGs, end poverty, and create shared prosperity.