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International Forum on Reform and Opening up and Poverty Reduction in China Convened to Seek Common Development and Promote International Collaboration on Poverty Alleviation

Time:2018-11-02  Source:CDB

The International Forum on Reform and Opening up and Poverty Reduction in China was held in Beijing on November 1 to 2, 2018. It was co-hosted by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Ministry of Finance, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, and the World Bank Group (WBG) and was co-organized by CDB, the National Institute for Global Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the International Poverty Reduction Center in China.

The forum was attended by over 400 participants including representatives of 11 international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), WBG, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the New Development Bank (NDB), and politicians, think tank scholars, leading entrepreneurs, and other representatives from 51 countries.

Under the theme of "International collaboration on poverty alleviation: building a community with a shared future for mankind," the participants held in-depth discussions on topics such as “China’s achievements in poverty reduction since the inception of reform and opening up 40 years ago,” "China's translation of its poverty alleviation ideas into an international consensus," and “Building a community with a shared future for mankind through international collaboration on poverty alleviation.”

"The forum has provided an opportunity to look back on China's experience and achievements over the past 40 years and to discuss how to address current and new challenges on that basis," says UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a congratulatory letter to the forum. "I welcome China's progress in promoting sustainable development. Its experience can provide valuable lessons. I've seen China’s strong commitment to collaborate with other developing countries. I encourage China's continued leadership."

Having the world's largest population, China has long been an advocate of global poverty reduction. Four decades ago, China launched reform and opening up and embarked on a journey of poverty reduction that is unprecedented in the history of mankind. It has lifted 740 million people in rural areas out of poverty, contributing more than 70% of global poverty reduction work in the last 40 years. And the poverty ratio in rural areas has dropped by 94.4%.

"Such achievements are unparalleled in human history," says President of WBG Jim Yong Kim, noting that China's success in poverty reduction relies on the surging economic growth brought about by reform and opening up and also the continuous efforts of the Chinese government. "China focuses on poverty reduction through development. This experience is of great importance."

Achim Steiner, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, believes that China pays equal attention to development and poverty reduction. "China has managed to increase the average income, while improving infrastructures and public services to provide better social security and prevent people from falling back into poverty. Chinese leaders have promised to leave no one behind on the path of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and combating poverty. This is crucial to achieving sustainable development."

According to K.V.Kamath, President of NDB, China's "last mile" connection program has brought roads and other infrastructures into remote areas. This experience is being promoted across the globe. Moreover, China's mobile payment platforms have provided more people, in particular those in rural areas, with development opportunities, enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty. "China attaches great importance to education and cultivation of human resources. It has the determination to reduce poverty and more importantly, concrete measures to make that happen."

Zheng Yongnian, Director of the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore, believes that in the 21st century, an era of material plenty, there are still a lot of people living in poverty. Some countries are building walls to keep out immigrants from poor areas. But unless unbalanced development is solved, the walls won’t work no matter how high or thick they are. Protectionism is not the solution and "the international community must join hands and put heads together to combat poverty."

In the opinion of Jin Liqun, President of AIIB, over the last four decades, WBG, the Asian Development Bank and other multilateral organizations have played an important role in the development of China and other developing countries in Asia. Many countries have benefited a lot from the support of these organizations. As the Chinese economy grows, China is increasingly giving back to the international community. A country can realize better and faster development by integrating its own efforts into international collaboration. "I look forward to seeing more countries becoming as successful as China."

The forum was also attended by President of CDB Zheng Zhijie and Executive Vice Presidents of CDB Zhou Qingyu and Ma Xin.