by Xiong Maoling, Tan Yixiao
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Despite varied circumstances in different countries, China's poverty alleviation efforts provide valuable lessons for developing countries across the globe, said renowned economist and bestselling author Jeffrey Sachs.
"There are a lot of lessons about long-term development that come from China's experience during the last 40 years," Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, told Xinhua in a recent video interview.
Sachs laid out three key lessons from China's practice, with the first one being setting clear goals.
"Targets are very important in human life because they keep us focused. They keep us moving forward," he said. "The lack of goals can really weaken a society."
The second lesson is good capacity for planning, Sachs said, highlighting China's National Development and Reform Commission and the whole planning structure.
"So creating a framework able to look ahead in a systematic way and plan for five-to 10-year horizons what to do is extremely important," he said.
The third is a broad-based strategy that combines public investment and market-based growth in infrastructure, healthcare and education. "It's the combination of the two that has been very effective," Sachs said.
As China's impoverished population decreases, China's role in the global economy is expanding in many ways, said the economist.
"China's demand for imports from overseas boosts trade and global demand. China's enormous supply of low-cost and high-quality infrastructure is vital for developing countries aiming to expand their own infrastructure," he said. "All of these bring important benefits for the world economy."
While extreme poverty has ended, there are still living standard gaps between China's urban and rural areas, and the productivity in many rural areas is still relatively low, Sachs said.
Looking forward, Sachs said China should do what it has been doing for decades. "I would hope that China would keep that view of the longer term because it has served China very well," he said.
The economist said he would like to see the Belt and Road Initiative "really expanded" in the coming years as a way to create more investment in green and digital infrastructure in developing countries "as a basis for their continued economic development."
He also called on China, the United States and the European Union to work together to address global challenges and build more inclusive and fair societies with lower inequality. Enditem