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Kitano Visits Europe to Report on an Update on the Estimation of China’s Foreign Aid

January 30, 2017

Naohiro Kitano, the director of the JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI), visited aid organizations and research institutions in Europe in November 2016 to deliver his paper on updated estimates of China’s foreign aid.

JICA-RI Director Naohiro Kitano (left)
JICA-RI Director Naohiro Kitano (left)

Kitano’s report was based on a JICA-RI working paper, “Estimating China’s Foreign Aid II: 2014 Update,” published in June 2016. The working paper was written as part of the JICA-RI research project “Comparative Study on Development Cooperation Strategy: Focusing on G20 Emerging Economies.” It presents updated estimates of China's foreign aid as a proxy for China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) as defined by the OECD-DAC, based on the net and gross disbursements of its foreign aid. Kitano showed that China’s net foreign aid increased from US $5.2 billion in 2012 to US $5.4 billion in 2013, but it dropped to US $4.9 billion in 2014; this data would place it ninth in the ODA ranking for 2013.

Kitano gave a presentation at a seminar held on November 24 at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) located at the University of Sussex in UK, where IDS Director Melissa Leach was chairing the discussion. The seminar brought together approximately 50 people, including international students and researchers from Japan and China. After the seminar, Kitano discussed with IDS representatives IDS’s future cooperative relationship with JICA-RI.

On the following day, Kitano spoke at a seminar at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a leading German think tank specializing in economic fields. Kitano took questions from the participants, speaking on China’s organizational structure and decision-making processes related to foreign aid as well as the reliability of the data on which the estimate is based.

Kitano also held seminars and meetings on his research at the OECD, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.

In October, prior to his visits to Europe, Kitano visited Washington D.C. and gave a presentation on this topic at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Professor Deborah Brautigam hosted a discussion, in which the campus in Bologna, Italy was connected via teleconferencing. More than 30 researchers and students participated in the discussion, and there was an active exchange of opinions on China's foreign aid policies and its relationships with international organizations.

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