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Poverty to be eliminated in China's Sichuan by 2020

Sichuan province, China: The poverty rate in Sichuan, a largely rural south-west province of China, will be reduced to zero percent by 2020 according to government plans.

The Deputy Director of Sichuan's Poverty Alleviation and immigration Bureau, Mr Zhang Haipeng, told Asean journalists on Wednesday that one billion yuan is being invested in poverty reduction programmes this year.

Officials of Sichuan province of China seen briefing Asian journalists about the region.

At the end of 2016, the number of poor people in the region was 4.3 percent, or about 2.7 million.

I have been working for poverty reduction in China for almost 30 years. The rate of poor people will come down to zero by 2020, he said.

In 2016, Sichuan's gross domestic growth touched more than 3.2 trillion yuan and the province was ranked sixth in China. It was also at the top of 12 western provinces.

With an area of 486,000 sq km, the 5th largest in China, and a population of 91 million, Sichuan comprises 21 prefectures.

The province is located close to Southeast Asia, and is right on the international gateway. Sichuan is also ranked first in China in terms of exploitable hydropower resources and natural gas.

There are more than 100 overseas and domestic flights to Sichuan. Last year, domestic tourist arrivals in Sichuan reached 630 million and the number of inbound tourists was about 3.1 million.

The province has established business ties with more than 221 countries and regions, and 15 countries have set up consulates here.

Among Fortune Global 500 companies, 316 have a presence in Sichuan, making it the largest home for Fortune Global 500 firms in western China. Currently, China is carrying out a new round of Western Development and the Belt and Road Initiative or Silk Road Economic Belt and 21 Century Maritime Silk Road.

In 2014, Tian Fu New Area in Sichuan was approved to become a national new area and its development will usher in a new round of investments in western China.

By 2025, Tian Fu New Area is expected to become an international and modern new area with a cluster of high-end services and industries. It is also expected to be dominated by modern manufacturing industries and suitable for startups.

Over the past two years, Sichuan's second international airport at Chengdu has been approved, making it the third Chinese city with two airports after Beijing and Shanghai.

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update August 5, 2017)

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