(Yicai Global) Oct. 8 -- China has implemented large-scale poverty elimination since its reform and opening, and this has lifted more than 700 million rural people out of destitution and attained other achievements that have drawn the world's gaze.
China had an indigent rural population of about 770 million at the end of 1978. This figure fell to 30.46 million by the end of last year. The number of people escaping poverty in rustic China was 16.5 million, 12.32 million, 14.42 million, 12.4 million, and 12.89 million each year from 2013 to last year. The poor population in China's countryside fell 68.53 million in the period, with a poverty reduction rate close to 70 percent at an average annual drop of 13.7 million.
Eastern China has taken the lead to fundamentally rid itself of poverty. The needy population in central and western China has declined overall. The ranks of the poor in rural eastern China were 3 million at the end of last year. The figure in central China decreased to 11.12 million at the end of last year from 34.46 million at the end of 2012, a cumulative fall of 23.34 million at a rate of 68 percent. Western China declined to 16.3 million at the end of last year from 51 million at the end of 2012, a total drop of 34.52 million at a rate of 68 percent.
The Chinese government plans to achieve national poverty alleviation by 2020, a scheme complicated by the over 30 million impoverished people remaining. Integrating resources and mobilizing the entire society is thus crucial to jointly solve this problem.
Companies' participation in poverty relief can help to better use market mechanisms to drive the development of upstream and downstream industries and create more employment opportunities, thus fundamentally relieving poverty, a staffer with a listed real estate firm in southeastern Guangdong province told Yicai Global.
Evergrande Group serves as an apt example here. It plans to invest CNY11 billion (USD160 million) over the five years starting from the end of 2015 to help over 1 million people in Bijie, a city of 6.5 million in southwestern Guizhou province, to shake off poverty by 2020.
Evergrande has considered local realities and developed specialty sectors such as vegetables, beef cattle, Chinese herbal medicines and fruit trees, and provided each indigent household with at least two industrial projects, introducing upstream and downstream leading enterprises to form a pattern of 'leading enterprises + cooperatives+ impoverished households + bases' to achieve the integrated operation of 'supply, production and sales' to help the needy shake off poverty at the local level.
The company is also planning to participate in poor relief in western China, the source also told Yicai Global. "We plan to use the method of industrial poverty alleviation too, to create more jobs and income for local people through industrial development while improving the local living and transport environment to achieve sustainable development."
Editor: Ben Armour