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CDB: a DFI making new contributions to boost the rural revitalization on all fronts

Time:2023-02-24  Source:CDB

“This year, China Development Bank (CDB) should insist on following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, implement the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China across the board, and thoroughly put into practice the important remarks on ‘Agriculture, Rural Areas and the Wellbeing of Farmers’ delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping. Based on its development finance mandate, CDB should closely hold the two bottom lines of safeguarding China’s national food security and preventing large-scale return-to-poverty, focus on construction of agricultural and rural infrastructure, and continue to increase the financial support to ‘Agriculture, Rural Areas and the Wellbeing of Farmers’, for the purpose of promoting rural revitalization and accelerating the building of a strong agriculture on all fronts.” Recently, CDB held a work meeting on supporting rural revitalization and promoting the building of a strong agriculture, making plans for the whole bank to support rural revitalization in 2023.

The meeting also summarized the achievements from the initiatives and measures taken by CDB in supporting rural revitalization last year. In 2022, CDB deepened the government-bank cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the National Rural Revitalization Administration, established a multi-layered external cooperation system, and strengthened the development finance policies and mechanisms, with a focus on improving its financial services for rural revitalization. Throughout the year, it saw an increase of 250 billion yuan in outstanding loans relating to agriculture, rural areas and rural residents, lending strong support the development of priority areas such as national food security, rural infrastructure construction, agricultural modernization, improvement of rural living environment and consolidation of poverty alleviation achievements.

More than half of the loans in relation to “agriculture, rural areas, and rural residents” were granted to rural infrastructure projects

“These pink grapefruits are from my hometown Guangxi. They feel smooth, smell delicate and taste refreshing. It’s hard to forget once you taste it!” Mr. Zhang, an orchardist from Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous County in Hechi City, Guangxi Province, driven by the young people at home, started to sell grapefruits through live streaming. “Live streaming is great! Almost one-third customers are from live streaming,” said Mr. Zhang who expressed his gratitude to the government for enabling the village to have access to the Internet.

Guangxi has made great efforts to construct the “smart radio and television” project in the past few years. A total of 7,272 new administrative villages, with 67,000 natural villages with over 35 households, were equipped with optical cables, and over 1.85 billion rural families opened their smart radio and television accounts. In this way, all of the administrative villages are equipped with optical cable now. By the end of 2022, CDB Guangxi Branch has granted loans totaling 1.8 billion yuan for the project, which facilitated the province to improve the internet infrastructure in its rural areas and supported the implementation of the digital village strategy. As the mainstay supporting infrastructure construction, 52% of CDB’s loans in relation to agriculture, rural areas, and rural residents went to rural infrastructure construction projects.

Taking rural reconstruction as an effective means, CDB supported the building of a beautiful and harmonious countryside that is desirable to live and work in. CDB leveraged its advantages in medium- and long-term credit loans to support the construction of rural infrastructure such as water, electricity, road, gas, and the Internet, ensuring rural residents have equitable access to basic public services. Meanwhile, it also supported the construction of agricultural and rural infrastructure using development finance instruments. In Lankao County, Henan Province, CDB supported the package program of rural revitalization. It provided financing support for construction of roads, pipe network, electricity, landscaping, and beautiful courtyards in villages as well as homestead reclamation, actively promoting equitable access to basic rural public services, with about 50,000 rural residents from 87 villages benefiting from such efforts.

Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. CDB takes the construction of garbage and sewage treatment facilities in a counties (districts) as a point of breakthrough to improve the living conditions in rural areas. It rolled out “RMB100 billion loans for 100 counties”, a special financing scheme to guarantee the resources needed and advance relevant initiatives, helping improve rural residents’ sense of gain, happiness and security. In Pingxiang City, Jiangxi Province, CDB supported the construction of 38 sewage treatment facilities and 3 garbage disposal stations by way of PPP and franchising, which effectively improved the environmental infrastructure there. In Fuyang City, Anhui Province, CDB supported the establishment of Linquan National Forest Reserve Base where an artificial forest covering more than 51.33 square kilometers (77000 mu) will be built and 1.665 million nursery stocks will be planted. In addition, land transfer will be adopted to help the neighboring residents that have been lifted out of poverty increase income, and even become rich.

CDB concentrated on priority areas like food security and took well-targeted actions

Firm and good control on grains as well as stable production and supply of important produce are top priorities in implementing the rural revitalization strategy. In 2022, CDB took different measures to increase financial support for development of cropland construction and seed industry revitalization, helping reinforce the bottom line of national food security. It set special loans for spring farming preparation for three consecutive years to support the agricultural production, so as to guarantee the stable supply of important agricultural and sideline products to urban and rural residents.

In Qionglai City, Sichuan Province, CDB Sichuan Branch provided financing support to Tianfu Modern Seed Industry Park, a state-level park with a total planning area of about 95 square kilometers. The Park integrates functions such as scientific and technological R&D, mass entrepreneurship and innovation incubation, exposition and transaction, etc. It is a strong pillar holding up the “Tianfu Granary”. Sichuan Central Germplasm Resources Bank in the Park is under tight construction, which upon completion is expected to store 524,000 pieces of crop seed resources, 1.05 million shots of livestock and poultry gene resources, and 260,000 shots of aquatic gene resources. It will become an important power for the protection and utilization of germplasm resources in Sichuan and even in the whole southwest China, which will contributed a lot to supporting the modern seed breeding innovation and ensuring food security and supply of important produce.

Shaking off poverty is not the finish line, but the starting point of a new life and new endeavor. CDB viewed it as a fundamental task to help people who have been lifted out of poverty increase their income, focused on business development and employment, and provided more favorable policies for 832 counties shaking off poverty and 160 key counties to receive assistance in pursuing rural revitalization. It provided follow-up support after poverty alleviation relocation and steadily promoted the collaboration between the eastern and western regions, continuing its support to consolidating poverty alleviation achievements.

Guizhou Province witnessed the largest scale of poverty alleviation relocation in China. After helping the province in securing a victory in the battle against poverty and completing the relocation task as planned, CDB Guizhou Branch spared no efforts to offer the follow-up support. On one hand, it supported the construction of supporting infrastructure in the resettlement areas. On the other hand, it highlighted the endogenous support effect through business development and employment, supporting diversified industrial development in such areas. In recent years, CDB successively supported the implementation of some demonstration parks for supporting business development and employment such as the resettlement and reemployment market in Zheng’an County and the relocation industrial park in Weng’an County, which have created thousands of employment opportunities. It also drove the development of projects involving special industries, modern agriculture, and rural tourism, etc. to lead the resettled residents to get a job near their homes and make a better life.

A thriving business environment is the basis for resolving all of the issues facing rural areas. The characteristic industries supported by CDB helped rural residents to make money and live a better life. In Sanming City, Fujian Province, CDB set up a demonstration area for rural revitalization with the support of development finance. In the demonstration area, CDB provided differentiated policies to develop four series of ‘new journey” projects focusing on forestry reform, medical reform, Shaxian delicacies and urban-rural integration by formulating financing plans. Take the Shaxian Delicacies Industrial Park as an example. The park, which covers 180,000 square meters, was supported by both investments and loans from CDB Fujian Branch. As the construction carried on, more and more companies specializing in food processing, condiment production, and food technology gathered in the park. They provide services to Shaxian delicacies stores all over China with raw materials processed in standardized production lines. It is estimated that the park will create employment opportunities for 20,000 people upon completion and provide continuous support to operators of Shaxian delicacies to go nationwide and even go global.

CDB kept exploring innovative services with a focus on improving the quality and efficiency in the process of supporting the priority areas in rural revitalization. It insisted on planning before action and provided planning and consultancy services to all 160 key counties to receive assistance in pursuing rural revitalization and 5 rural revitalization demonstration areas under the support of development finance. It provided differentiated policies such as fee reduction, preferential pricing, and lower access criteria to areas shaking off poverty, former severely impoverished areas, key counties to receive assistance and demonstration areas. It provided training for 16,000 rural cadres and professional and technical personnel in the year, which helped to improve the endogenous capabilities of development. It issued 8 billion yuan of special 5-year-term bonds for rural vitalization, providing comprehensive financial services for rural vitalization.

In Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, CDB Yunnan Branch formulated the Financing Plan for Supporting Rural Revitalization of Zhaoyang District of Zhaotong City in Yunnan Province with Development Finance, tailored the ideas and measures to support rural revitalization of Zhaoyang District, designing supporting paths and key projects for county-wide sewage and garbage treatment, integrated urban-rural water supply, comprehensive transportation network involving “Agriculture, Rural Areas and the Wellbeing of Farmers,” water network and smart city development, as well as the eco-environment conservation on the upper reaches of Yangtze River, the comprehensive water environment governance in Jinsha River Basin and the restoration of forestry eco-system, which provided solid support to build the district into a demonstration zone for poverty alleviation and prosperity in Yunnan Province.

CDB implemented the guiding principles of the No. 1 Central Document and provided substantial support for advancing rural revitalization across the board

In the Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Advancing Rural Revitalization Across the Board in 2023, explicit requirements have been set down on financial support for rural revitalization related areas. It is required at the work meeting on supporting rural revitalization and promoting the building of a strong agriculture held by CDB that the whole bank should follow the decisions and instructions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, have a deep understanding of the great significance of advancing rural revitalization across the board and stepping up the building of a strong agriculture, concentrate on its mandate to better play its advantages in medium- and long-term financing and investment as DFI, and thoroughly implement the responsibility system for rural revitalization so as to stage a good performance in support rural revitalization with financial services in 2023.

CDB will concentrate on the priority areas of rural revitalization and take targeted actions this year. It will support the construction of high-standard farming land, facilitate the development of agricultural technologies, and help safeguard national food security and ensure the steady production and supply of important agricultural products. It will support efforts for improving the rural living environments, promote the urbanization with a focus on county towns, drive the extension of urban infrastructure to rural areas, and boost the construction of rural infrastructure such as water supply, power supply and rural highway, so as to accelerate the improvement of fundamental public services in rural areas. It will support consolidating poverty alleviation achievements, cooperate with all parties to increase support to infrastructure construction in such aspects as rural areas shaking off poverty, follow-up support after poverty alleviation relocation, paired assistance and consumption assistance. The support to the 160 key counties to receive assistance in pursuing rural revitalization, the old revolutionary base areas, the regions inhabited by minority ethnic groups, and regions like Tibet and Xinjiang shall be sustained and strengthened, so as to constantly expand the assistance effects.

By doing so, CDB will conscientiously fulfill the trilateral strategic cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the National Rural Revitalization Administration and enhance the government-bank cooperation with relevant ministries and commissions to jointly plan the priority areas and projects to be supported in rural revitalization. It will mobilize and integrate resources of all parties to explore effective ways for financial services. It will also strengthen its team building, require employees to visit rural areas and learn the first-hand information through field trips by doing investigations and studies in a deep-going way. Young officers will be encouraged to go to the masses and the business frontline. Business training will also be intensified to build a leading team of development finance for “Agriculture, Rural Areas and the Wellbeing of Farmers”, members of which will know about both finance and agriculture and love rural areas and rural residents. The bank will take the initiative to formulate financing plans for rural revitalization and strive to put them into practice. It will bring the bridging and bonding role of the service specialists and cadres taking temporary posts for promoting rural revitalization to unite the forces of the bank and the local government. It will work hard to rectify bad practices and corruption problems in financial services for rural revitalization. It will strongly hold the perspective on working with the people, follow the mass line, and make further efforts to see the bank’s conduct improved by thoroughly rectifying formalism and bureaucratism of any kind.

CDB emphasized in the meeting that the whole bank should get aligned with the decisions and instructions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council both in thinking and actions. It will target at its goals, exert all strength, and forge ahead. It will adopt more forceful measures and better conduct to undertake all its initiatives, striving to make new contributions to advancing rural revitalization across the board and accelerating the building of a strong agriculture as a DFI.