Foreign capital facilitates poverty reduction in China
Updated: 2006-09-26 10:10

BEIJING -- China will try to better use foreign capital to facilitate its poverty reduction efforts, said an official with the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Ou Qingping, deputy director of the Center for the Administration of Foreign-funded Projects with the Leading Office, made the remarks on Monday at the Second ASEAN plus Three High-level Workshop on Poverty Reduction.

Foreign capital is a "carrying vehicle" for China, through which the country can not only bring in a large amount of money but also advanced foreign concepts, technologies and methods for its work in poverty reduction, said Ou.

The Leading Office set up the Center for Administration of Foreign-funded Projects in 1996.

Over the past decade, China has been expanding the inflow of foreign capital to boost poverty alleviation efforts, including loans from international financial institutions like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and official development aid (ODA) from Japan, Canada and Britain.

According to Ou, about 630 million U.S. dollars in the World Bank loans has been granted to China since 1996, covering poverty reduction in Sichuan, Guangxi and Yunnan.

China uses foreign capital to increase investment in human resources, which helps to spread the use of knowledge and technology by the poor, said Ou.

Huang Chengwei, an official responsible for administering foreign-funded projects for poverty alleviation in Guangxi, said residents in the poverty-stricken Jingxi County are now getting more chances to select, manage, supervise and evaluate their development projects.

When the residents are well trained, they know what is best suitable for them and try to make decisions on their own. This strengthens their capacity to shake off poverty, said Huang.

According to official statistics, by the end of last year, China had an estimated 23.65 million people earning less than 680 yuan (85 U.S. dollars) a year, living in absolute poverty. If the internationally accepted poverty line of one U.S. dollar per day is used, the country's poverty-stricken population stood at 120 million to 130 million.