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China sees progress in alleviating poverty in rural areas

By Zhuang Qiange | | Updated: 2020-09-17 23:49
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China's poverty alleviation efforts will see greater progress as various sectors boost consumption of goods and services from rural areas, while efforts to control the COVID-19 epidemic have paid off, say experts.

"During the whole nation's fight against poverty, the targeted and intensive measures implemented across the nation have made much difference," said Guo Lanfeng, deputy director-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on Thursday at a forum focusing on poverty alleviation in Yan'an, Shaanxi province.

The forum, "China Forum for Consumption and Poverty Alleviation", was held by China Center for Urban Development under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to exchange experiences and showcase successful cases in the poverty alleviation fight, which aims to eliminate absolute poverty in rural areas by the end of the year.

"Efforts from government, enterprises and the whole society to boost the integration of consumption, logistics and production are well displayed during the nation's fight against the poverty amid COVID-19 headwinds, and have made big progress during the period," Guo said.

According to the NDRC, all government units together with domestic enterprises and other social parties nationwide have directly purchased agri-products of 22 billion yuan ($3.25 billion) from poverty-stricken areas in the first half of this year and helped farmers in the areas sell more than 200 billion yuan's worth agri-products.

Innovation in retailing and online technologies and targeted measures are key factors leading to the success of the poverty alleviation battle, and will have a bigger role in supporting the nation's "dual circulation" development pattern, in which the domestic and external demands will complement each other and offer vast opportunities for businesses around the world, said experts during the forum.

According to a report unveiled during the forum, in China, which is the world's fastest-growing e-commerce market home for more than 40 percent of global e-commerce transactions, digital technology is being increasingly adopted to carry out economic and social activities and is profoundly transforming production patterns and people's lifestyles. In China, e-commerce, digitally inclusive finance and poverty alleviation programs supported by big data have had positive effects on poverty reduction.

In addition, online methods such as live streaming retailing are promoting growth in incomes and capacity-building for the sellers in poverty-stricken areas. Many poor people have benefited from the booming sector.

For example, the National Rural E-commerce Comprehensive Demonstration Project has helped nearly 3 million registered impoverished households achieve income growth. In 2019, online retail sales in 832 poverty-stricken counties reached 107.6 billion yuan ($15.7 billion).

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