Firms step up efforts to shake off poverty
Private companies are stepping up efforts to eradicate poverty in impoverished areas of the country, as China inches closer to its goal of becoming poverty-free by the end of this year.
Cao Dewang, founder and chairman of Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co Ltd, said his company would continue to shoulder corporate social responsibilities to help those in need and be a part of the government's poverty elimination efforts.
"We have donated over 16 billion yuan ($2.43 billion) to charity work since 1983, and we will carry on with it. Many people don't understand, and I told them it's a contribution to the government's efforts in promoting reform and opening-up and supporting development of private companies. Moreover, a harmonious society with decreasing gap between the rich and the poor will benefit the development of private businesses," said Cao, during a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office on Friday.
Private companies have been an important weapon in the China's fight against poverty. During the past five years, nearly 110,000 private companies have helped 127,100 villages out of poverty, and helped provide better lives to over 15 million impoverished people, according to data provided by the State Council Information Office.
Cao's company donated several million yuan to an impoverished village in Pingtan county, Fuzhou city, in East China's Fujian province in 2003.
"Back then (in 2003), local residents were leading a hard life. They needed to walk over 5 kilometers to fetch drinking water. Nearly 50 families had moved out of the village due to the hard conditions. Village officials wanted to have all the villagers migrated but did not have adequate funds to undertake the necessary works," said Cao.
"Apart from donating several million yuan, we urged the villagers to make use of the stone quarries for construction material. Many families are now relying on the business for a living. Now, the village has elderly care associations and even a nursing home for the elderly. It has achieved the goal of xiaokang (a moderately prosperous society). The village was named after our company: Fuyao village," said Cao.
The company has helped numerous villages in the Tibet autonomous region, Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces come out of the poverty shadow.
"The key is to fully leverage the local strengths and make targeted poverty alleviation efforts," Cao said.
Lin Yinsun, president of Zhengbang Group, Shi Guilu, chairman of Rongmin Holding Group, and Dang Yanbao, chairman of Baofeng Energy, also shared their poverty alleviation experiences at the news conference.
Zhou Minliang, a senior researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said private companies are playing an increasingly important role in helping rural areas combat poverty by providing financial support and boosting local resources and strengths.