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Profiting from Precaution:
How China’s Policy Banks Can Enhance Social and Environmental Standards

By Kevin P. Gallagher
Paulson Institute Policy Memorandum
July 2013
Download the Policy Brief
(Also available in Chinese)

Cover of China Cycle ReportThis policy brief, published by the Paulson Institute, addresses the need for China’s policy banks to incorporate strong social and environmental safeguards into their decision-making. Gallagher highlights the striking gap between the social and environmental safeguards of the China Development Bank and the China Export-Import Bank and its global counterparts.

Gallagher makes the argument that China may lose market opportunities if its policy banks are not upgraded on social and environmental grounds, as there is a growing backlash against Chinese projects from Gabon to Honduras and Myanmar. Not only will incorporating stronger safeguards help maintain market access, he also argues that it will help China’s policy banks to identify and mitigate risk. China could become a flagship example of how emerging market policy banks that provide much-needed finance globally can also catalyze sustainable economic growth and earn healthy returns.

Download the policy brief, Profiting from Precaution: How China’s Policy Banks Can Enhance Social and Environmental Standards.
Download the policy brief in Chinese.

Related publications
China's development banks need to clean up their act, Kevin P. Gallagher, The Guardian Poverty Matters Blog, July 9, 2013
The New Banks in Town: Chinese Finance in Latin America, Kevin P. Gallagher, Amos Irwin, and Katherine Koleski, Inter-American Dialogue Report, February 2012.


Learn more about GDAE's work on China and Latin America.



The Global Development and Environment Institute’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of economic integration in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the WTO and NAFTA's lessons for trade and development policy. The goal of the program is to identify policies and international agreements that foster sustainable development.

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