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Leaders in countryside need to wear many hats

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-06 09:05
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A villager picks persimmons at an orchard in Beisuo village, Maoming, Guangdong province, in October 2022. WANG RUIPING/XINHUA

A competent rural CEO should be good at discovering the advantages of a village, fully utilize local resources and activate the endogenous driving force of rural development.

Rural revitalization requires a scientific development perspective, said Wu Yiping, Party chief of Datan village in Xinlong township, Huangpu district.

Datan, a naturally beautiful, tiny village in Guangzhou, has a profound folk culture and huge potential for developing the tourism industry, said Wu.

Wu said he has become more confident about his village's future development after attending special rural CEO training courses.

"I have greatly benefited from the rural CEO courses," he added.

Wu is not alone.

The rural CEO training courses, organized by relevant departments and organizations, have become popular in South China's Guangdong province, which is going full speed ahead in its rural revitalization efforts.

The courses aim to nurture rural CEOs and professional managers, and have become innovative platforms to address the shortage of rural talent in the province, which is a globally renowned industrial manufacturing base.

Training young rural CEOs is one of the key tasks of the Youth League committee in the next three years, according to the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

Youth League organizations at all levels will continue to make efforts to nurture rural professional managers by creating a demonstration course for rural CEOs, and build a new force to promote the development of a new rural collective economy.

Chen Zhiyong, deputy Party chief of Huangpu district, said the purpose of organizing rural CEO training courses is to cultivate more rural collective economic management professionals suitable for coordinating industrial growth with rural development.

"The key is to explore a differentiated and specific path for rural revitalization based on reality," he said.

Mo Yanhua, an official from Guangzhou's Huangpu district, said the rural CEO training courses not only provide theoretical lectures to enhance a student's understanding, but also have practical applications and on-site case studies, including interpretation of support policies and introduction of special products to help rural CEOs solve common problems that hinder rural development.

"Students can greatly improve themselves after undergoing the rural CEO training courses," said Mo.

The training course has focused on the development of the new rural collective economy, the revitalization of rural land resources, rural tourism and investment promotion for rural industries.

The aim is to enhance rural operational capabilities and promote the development of the rural collective economy.

The instructors at these courses include professors, experts, scholars, urban planners, engineers and architects.

More than 80 students attended the two-day rural CEO training course that was organized in Huangpu in early November, said Mo.

In addition to Party chiefs and directors of villages, the students include cooperative chairpersons, managers of village-run companies and senior executives of district companies who are in charge of rural development affairs, she said.

Luo Junqiang, Party secretary of Hengsha community in Huangpu, said he was very interested in a module on architectural aesthetics when he attended the rural CEO training course.

"Now, my community is planning to introduce some commercial projects, and it is very important to design eye-catching commercial landmarks," he said.

Some of the courses are specifically tailored for rural grassroots cadres and business executives who have not systematically studied management and operations, he said.

The training courses inspire them to develop new ideas for work in the future, he added.

Feng Shuaizhang, a professor at Jinan University, said there is a relative shortage of talent for rural revitalization, especially in rural governance.

"The relevant departments need to further increase the cultivation and training of rural grassroots governance talent and continuously improve the level of grassroots governance, as talent is the key to rural revitalization," Feng said.

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