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Pilot Project to Share China's Experience in Shaking off Poverty by Jiao Meng, December 7, 2016 Adjust font size:

The launch ceremony of the Pilot Project of Poverty Reduction Cooperation in East Asia was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on December 7, 2016.

Along with Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, China is launching several pilot projects for poverty reduction at the village level, committing to the “East Asia Cooperation Initiative on Poverty Reduction” proposed by China’s Premier Li Keqiang at the 17th ASEAN+3 Summit held on November 13th, 2014.

As the first official Chinese foreign aid project on poverty reduction, two typical villages in Laos were selected for the three-year project which adopts China’s poverty reduction experience, one that has lifted 700 million people get out of poverty in the past 30 years.

The Chinese poverty reduction departments will work hand in hand with the three countries’ counterparts at all levels, jointly organizing, participating in, and implementing all stages of the project. Together with Agency for International Economic Cooperation and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) is managing the project, leading a work team and engaging in exchanges with the relevant governmental departments.

Mr. Thongvanh Vilayheuang, Acting Chairman of the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication in Laos, delivered the welcome speech. “The poverty rate within the ASEAN has been dramatically decreased in comparison to other regions, yet big challenges still remain. There are barriers to the end of poverty and its related sustainable development goals, particularly in regard to the latest ASEAN members, i.e. Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, whereby a developmental disparity renders these nations’ situation much different from that of the other 6 ASEAN countries. Thus, the Pilot Project of Poverty Reduction Cooperation in East Asia is considerably crucial for the amelioration of the livelihood of a great number of people in these three countries and also contributes to reducing disparities within ASEAN.”

Mr. Thongvanh believes this pilot project is a vital contribution to the implementation of national strategies and the 8th5-Year National Socio-economic Development Plan (2016-2020), which emphasizes the overall eradication of poverty and the upgrading of the national status from least developed country in 2020. Moreover, this is a proper platform to demonstrate the long and deep friendship between Laos and China as Chinese Ambassador to Laos Guan Huabing stated China and Laos, linked by rivers and mountains, are "Good Neighbors, Good Friendships and Good Partnerships."

Guan said this project intends to carry out targeted poverty alleviation, improve the living and production conditions of the community, build up self-development capacity, diversify income sources, and provide examples for the Laotian government to eliminate poverty and improve its people’s livelihood. The launching of this project will not only enhance cooperation and exchanges between China and Laos, but also make contribution to the deepening of friendly cooperation between the two governments, the building of the friendship between the two countries’ people, and the promotion of regional cooperation.

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