World Bank’s Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea Bert Hofman speaks at the 2017 China Poverty Reduction International Forum
“China was still an agricultural country in 1978. We didn’t know how far China would go in poverty reduction. Now we know for sure that China has achieved a lot in this regard,” said Bert Hofman, the World Bank’s Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea, in his keynote speech at the 2017 China Poverty Reduction International Forum on May 26.
With the guidance of China’s State Council Information Office, the 2017 China Poverty Reduction International Forum was co-hosted by the China Internet Information Center (CIIC), International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC), World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The theme of the event is “Developing and Sharing Governance Solutions to Reduce Poverty”.
Bert Hofman noted that there are still more than 700 million people across the world living in extreme poverty, so mutual learning and experience sharing is of utmost importance. “China has made a great contribution to global poverty reduction,” he said. “It deserves to be our teacher.”
Bert Hofman thinks that China’s success in poverty reduction owes to the success of its reform and opening-up. He pointed out that agricultural productivity is very important to China. The “new normal” (current status of the Chinese economy) is vigorously promoting the development of its rural areas. Besides, the private sector and SMEs have contributed a lot to the efforts. China has made tremendous progress in poverty reduction. Of course, there remain some underdeveloped regions with relatively backward economy, to which priority will be given in the future. The World Bank can offer assistance and support, as well as experience sharing.
Bert Hofman thinks that China has been doing very well in sharing its poverty reduction experience and knowledge with other countries. China is fully prepared to do so. He also believes in the importance of cultural communication, exchanges and knowledge sharing. China is now sharing its poverty reduction experiences with the world and cooperating with the world. China’s experiences are quite beneficial for the countries in extreme poverty, especially the socially vulnerable groups. Meanwhile, the international community can provide China with more assistance. This is a two-way, mutually beneficial cooperation mechanism.