8 coastal cities will reach out to help Guizhou erase poverty

By Wang Qian and Yang Jun ( China Daily )

Updated: 2014-03-04

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 0

With help from eight coastal cities, Guizhou, one of the country's poorest provinces, will focus on industrial development, infrastructure, education and tourism in a drive to eradicate poverty before 2020.

The eight cities have signed on to 175 cooperative projects, Chen Min'er, the governor, said on Sunday.

Announcing details in Beijing, Chen said the projects involve a total investment of 162 billion yuan ($26.3 billion).

The eight cities - Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dalian, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Suzhou and Guangzhou - were lined up by the State Council in February 2013 to offer aid to a city or prefecture in Guizhou.

The council asked the eight cities to allocate at least 30 million yuan every year before 2020 to aid infrastructure and personnel training in a selected city or prefecture.

The southwestern province lifted nearly 1.7 million people out of poverty as GDP growth reached 12.7 percent in 2013, according to statistics released by the provincial government. But about 7.6 million people, about 21 percent of its population, remain in poverty.

8 coastal cities will reach out to help Guizhou erase poverty

The country categorizes those with annual incomes of less than 2,300 yuan as "destitute".

"Guizhou needs aid and support to boost economic development," Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council's Poverty Alleviation Leading Group Office, said.

Aid can also be a two-way street and mutually beneficial, said Zhang Xinqi, mayor of Qingdao, whose city is providing aid to Anshun, a city in western Guizhou that is famous for its mountains, pristine rivers and the diversified culture of ethnic groups.

"Anshun is rich in mineral resources, while Qingdao has many companies and plants that need the resources. The combination of the two will be a win-win situation," Zhang said.

Construction will start in a five-square-kilometer industrial zone in Anshun this year with dozens of companies in Qingdao set to invest there, he said.

Zhou Naixiang, mayor of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, hopes to bring high-quality agricultural products from Tongren in Guizhou onto the tables of Suzhou's residents.

"In this way, farmers in Tongren can increase their revenue and residents in Suzhou can enjoy healthy, fresh vegetables," Zhou said.

More than 400 officials and experts from Tongren will go to Suzhou for training this year.

Zhao Kezhi, Party chief of Guizhou and an NPC deputy, said the province's development will not be achieved at the expense of the environment.

"Any project that may cause environmental pollution will be rejected," Zhao said.

Contact the writers at wangqian@chinadaily.com.cn and yangjun@chinadaily.com.cn

8 coastal cities will reach out to help Guizhou erase poverty

(China Daily 03/04/2014 page5)