NAY PYI TAW: The 8th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction kicked off in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s capital, Thursday, aiming to deepen regional cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China on poverty reduction.
Liu Yongfu, head of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China, told the forum that China and ASEAN countries are commonly concerned on poverty elimination in realizing the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Liu added Chinese government attaches high importance to the work of poverty alleviation and development, and the work in China is currently entering into a regional development and a new phase of mutual-enhancement.
U Ohn Myint, minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development of Myanmar, which is rotating chair of ASEAN, said poverty is an issue which many countries in the world are faced with, and it is also a challenge to the Southeast Asian region.
He cited related statistics as saying that the poverty rate in the countryside of Southeast Asian region is 62 percent. Noting that ASEAN countries are cooperating in poverty reduction, he stressed the need for ASEAN to strengthen cooperation also with dialogue partners in this aspect. He added Myanmar is making efforts in the reduction and striving to bring down the poverty rate to 16 percent in 2015.
UN Development Program Administrator Helen Clark spoke through video that China and ASEAN nations have made remarkable progress in development, poverty reduction and the improvement of the quality of basic social services.
“While there is significant potential for this development progress to continue, there are also challenges we faced,” she said, adding, “It is unlikely that Asia’s past model of growth, heavily based on exports and manufacturing, will be sustainable indefinitely.”
She said the discussions at the forum contribute meaningfully to mutual understanding and to taking forward both regional and national development. Alicia dele Rosa-Bala, deputy secretary-general of the ASEAN Secretariat also stressed at the opening ceremony the need to deepen regional cooperation between ASEAN and China on poverty reduction.
Focusing on the new challenges China and ASEAN nations are faced with in poverty reduction and inclusive development, the three-day forum will share new practices and experiences of respective countries and advocate new methods of deepening regional poverty reduction cooperation and push the establishment of closer cooperative partnership in the sector to enable the poor to enjoy the outcome of such regional cooperation.
On the final day of the forum, delegates will conduct study in Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay where some Myanmar’s poverty alleviation and development projects in agriculture and handicrafts are being implemented.
The forum is hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development of Myanmar, and is organized by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China and Fisheries and Rural Department of Myanmar. Attending the forum are government officials, experts, scholars, international organizations, civil organizations, representatives of enterprises and media circle.
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