BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhuanet)-- President of the
Asian DevelopmentBank (ADB) Haruhiko Kuroda said in Beijing on Sunday that the
ADB will offer more support to China's rural development in the future.
Kuroda made the remark at the China Development Forum 2006, which opened in Beijing on Sunday. He said the ADB
is glad to knowthat China's 11th Five Year Plan targets rural development as one
of the country's top priorities.
Kuroda said with about 60 percent of its population
engaged in the agriculture sector, China should give priority to the development
in the poorest rural areas.
Kuroda suggests the Chinese government focus on
improving ruralinfrastructure, diversifying crop production, and adopting
integrated, environmentally friendly approaches to farming.
Rebuilding the rural financial system will relieve
the lack of financial services that constrain farmers' investment options, said
Kuroda said creating sufficient job opportunities for
China's large number of rural laborers is also critically important.
"This is a major and ongoing challenge which will
require greater private sector development, as well as vocational trainingfor
rural migrants." he said.
According to Kuroda, the ADB is designing a
vocational trainingprogram for rural migrants in south China's Guangdong
province, which will be expanded to other provinces.
A recent ADB study shows that a basic social
development and poverty reduction program for the rural areas would be
affordable even in China's current fiscal circumstances.
For 100 billion yuan a year, the Chinese government
could establish a rural minimum living standard support system to help about 25
million of the poorest people, provide free nine-year compulsory education for
120 million students in the rural areas; establish a basic rural health care
system to cover all 770 million farmers; and speed up the poverty reduction
program in 148,000 of the poorest villages nationwide.
Kuroda said although ambitious, the goal is
achievable. Given that fiscal revenue increased by about 500 billion yuan per
year in the past two years, such an outlay is quite feasible, and wouldgo a long
way in making growth more inclusive and equitable.
Over the next three years, ADB's lending to China is
expected to total about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars, in which more money and
programs will be related to China's rural development, said Kuroda.
Kuroda said the ADB has operated intensively in
agricultural and rural development in Asian countries for the past four
decades,including in China.
He expressed hopes to expand both ADB's lending
operations and knowledge sharing with China in areas like rural infrastructure,
bio-gas development, rural industrial promotion, rural financial reform, poverty
reduction in the poor regions, vocational trainingfor rural migrants, reform in
rural health system, environmental protection and energy efficiency. Enditem