- Language Tips
BOAO, Hainan -- China's urban population is expected to reach 70 percent by 2030 and the country needs to handle its fast urbanization right, as it could create difficulties, especially environmental problems, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Tuesday.
If it is done properly, urbanization can be the foundation of future growth, Zoellick said at the 2012 annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).
The three-day forum is scheduled to end late Tuesday in Boao, a scenic town on the eastern coast of China's southernmost island province of Hainan.
"The benefits of urbanization are that there are spill-over economic effects," said Zoellick.
City clusters and industrial clusters, a result of urbanization, will be able to benefit from a common platform, he added.
Each additional percentage-point increase in urbanization means over 10 million more rural residents becoming city dwellers, Zheng Xinli, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchange, told Xinhua earlier. He went on to state that each city dweller will spur at least 100,000 yuan (15,873 U.S. dollars) in investment in infrastructure.
However, people moving into cities also present huge issues, such as infrastructure, water and sanitation needs, said Zoellick.
If handled improperly, urbanization could create difficulties, such as climate change and other environmental issues. People in cities near the oceans will also face rising water levels, he said.
China's urbanization rate exceeded 50 percent for the first time at the end of last year, while the average level in developed economies stays at 70 percent, according to Zheng Xinli.