China Development Finance two-day Seminar | Mon 27th & Wed 29th March

Event date : Mon 27th & Wed 29th March

By: Martin Kessler,  Ishac Diwan,


The Finance for Development Lab is hosting its first conference on Chinese development finance. Scheduled over two days, Monday 27th & Wednesday 29th March (8:00-10:30 WASHINGTON / 14:00-16:30 PARIS / 20:00-22:30 BEIJING), it aims to build a better understanding of China’s key challenges as a leading provider of finance to developing countries.


DAY 1: Debt and SDRs

The first day will focus on the macroeconomic aspects of Chinese lending. China is a large creditor, and in some cases, of countries in or at risk of debt distress. How should it tackle the challenges surrounding debtor negotiations and coordination with other creditors? Second, China also holds large excess reserves. It has re-channeled some of its Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to the IMF, but could it do more, and differently? These two questions will be at the heart of the academic and policy sessions of the day.

  • 2-2.30 pm: Keynote Address by Dr. Jin Zhongxia, Director General of the International Department of the People's Bank of China, on "Key issues about debt restructuring in developing countries”.
    • And discussion with Pr. Deborah Brautigam, Director of the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins University.
  • 2.30 - 3.30 pm - Two papers will be presented:
    • On Comparability of Treatment, by Gong Cheng (BIS) and Aitor Erce (INARBE), with a discussion by Diego Rivetti (World Bank)
    • On the use of SDRs by China for the development of African countries, by Etsehiwot Kebret and Hannah Ryder (Development Reimagined) - DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION HERE
  • 3.30-4.30 pm : Policy Panel

DAY 2: New financing & projects

The second day will focus on the new objectives of China’s lending operations. The broad question will look at how China is adapting its approach to development finance in a world of increasing debt levels and pressing climate and nature related challenges. The last FOCAC showed a shift from large infrastructure projects to a diversification to new sectors, with an emphasis on sustainability.

Keynote Address by Pr. Justin Lin, Dean of Institute of New Structural Economics and a conversation with Pr. Bert Hofman, Director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore.

  • 2 – 2.30 pm:  Shang-Jin Wei, Columbia University (Moderator)
    • Keynote speech by Pr. Justin Lin, Dean, Institute of New Structural Economics
    • Dialogue with Bert Hofman, Director, East Asia Institute, National University Singapore
  • 2.30 – 4.00 pm:  Academic session, chaired by Martin Kessler, Finance for Development Lab
    • 2.30-3:00 pm: Paper 1 – Christoph Nedopil Wang, Director of the Green Finance and Development Center, Fudan University: "Can tripartite cooperation with China mobilise green project finance in the global South?"
      • Discussion by  Muyang Chen (Peking University)
    • 3.00 - 3.30 pm:Paper 2 - Tianshu Sun (CAITEC) and Wei Shen (Institute for Development Studies) on: "Horizontal Fragmentation and Coordination Vacuum in China’s Foreign Aid System"
      • Discussion by Dr. Coraline Goron, Duke-Kunshan University,
  • General discussion by Ms ZHANG Minwen, Deputy Director General of the  International Economy and Finance Institute (IEFI)

Confirmed speakers:

  • Deborah Brautigam, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy Emeritaand Director of the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI), Johns Hopkins University
  • Guillaume Chabert , Deputy Director, SPR Department, International Monetary Fund
  • Gong Cheng, Senior Economist, Bank of International Settlements
  • Simon Cueva, Universidad Internacional del Ecuador
  • Bert Hofman, Director, East Asia Institute, National University Singapore
  • Etsehiwot Kebret, Development Finance Adviser, Development Reimagined
  • Justin Lin, Dean of Institute of New Structural Economics & former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank
  • Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist, UN Economic Commission for Africa
  • Diego Rivetti, Senior Debt Specialist at Macroeconomics Trade and Investment (MTI) Global Practice, World Bank
  • Hannah Ryder, CEO, Development Reimagined
  • Shang-Jin Wei, N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia University
  • Jin Zhongxia, Director General of the International Department, People’s Bank of China