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Right policies can end poverty - Chinese don

By Sydney Miria

Added 6th November 2018 10:51 AM

"No matter how poor a country is; with the right policies its people can change their destiny within one or two generations," Yifu said.

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Some of the participants at the two-day forum. Photo by Sidney Miria

"No matter how poor a country is; with the right policies its people can change their destiny within one or two generations," Yifu said.

BEIJING- Forty years ago much of China was lagging behind  sub-Saharan Africa, but today the country has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty according to Lin Yifu, the Director of New Structural Economics of Peking University.

"No matter how poor a country is; with the right policies its people can change their destiny within one or two generations," Yifu said.

He said today over 90% of China's exports to the world are manufactured products.

He said in order for developing countries to break away from the vicious cycle of poverty they need to modernise agriculture from which the majority who live in the countryside earn a living.

"The countryside must be connected to the market. Products must get access to the market so that productivity is enhanced," he added.

Yifu made the remarks on Friday at the closure of a two-day International Forum on Reform and Opening up and Poverty Reduction in China held in the capital Beijing.

He said for a country to achieve a higher income status in addition to modernising its agricultural sector, it must also modernise its industrial sector by introducing labour intensive industry at local level which requires less capital investment in order to transfer farmers from the land to industries.

At the centre of it all he said the role of governments in developing a good economy is indispensable. "If the market plays a higher role it might cause a distortion.

There is need to keep a realistic balance between the government and the market," he said.

Yifu added that governments can play a role in labour intensive industries by lowering the cost of production, infrastructural support and providing assistance to institutions to improve the business environment.

"After the reform and opening up policy was adopted, China set up Special Economic Zones to leverage government support because the environment was poor for businesses," he said.

Chen Zhigang, the vice-minister of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development while closing the forum said its core aim was to build consensus in the fight against poverty.

He said the eradication of poverty is a shared mission of the human society and pledged China's support to help other developing countries to eradicate poverty.

He called for co-operation among nations and international agencies in order to meet    the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal on eradication of poverty.

The forum had three round table discussions on: Reform and Opening Up - the driving forces of China's Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development; Poverty Reduction in the New Era - China's Poverty Reduction Concepts and Innovative Practices and International Co-operation in Poverty Reduction - Global Development Financial Institutions' Contribution to International Poverty Reduction and Development.

The forum held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse attracted state officials, scholars, researchers and delegates from international financial entities.

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