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News Desk

The Express Tribune

Published Date: Oct 31, 2017

Don’t copy, devise locally implementable solutions

While importing successful solutions to key issues is always the preferred method, sometimes local solutions need to be derived, particularly those suggested by local communities.
This was stated by Chinese Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Lijian Zhao while delivering a lecture on ‘Poverty Reduction in China and Lessons for Pakistan’, held at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.
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China, Zhao said, was able to reduce poverty considerably over the past five years through a number of solutions which were offered at community level aiming to improve their lives through new income generation activities.
“There is no single solution for poverty alleviation and, keeping this in view, the Chinese government helped communities through multiple approaches involving measures such as offering subsidies, financing income-generating activities at the local level and providing enabling policy environment and support for area-specific economic activities,” Zhao explained.
Presenting various examples of Chinese government’s success in poverty reduction, he said that China could become a poverty-free country by 2020 – part of a five-year plan outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping to lift the last 70 million poor out of poverty.
He added that finances for these projects have been arranged at the local level by federal, provincial and individual county governments. This, he explained, ensures broader ownership for such developmental activities.
Moreover, Zhao said, banks in China were ensuring that the micro-finance projects at the local level, which they were backing, were diverse and purpose-oriented ranging from industrial to farming.
Further, to spur education, Zhao said educational subsidies were being offered to students so that they could avail educational facilities and hence improve their ability and have better access to economic opportunities.
Referring to the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Chinese official said that it would provide a massive cushion for Pakistan’s efforts to combat poverty since projects such as power generation and construction of roads and highways would offer new economic opportunities to the people of Pakistan.
Despite its success, Zhao said that the poverty-reduction systems which have proven to be successful in China cannot be directly transplanted in Pakistan since the two countries have different political systems and environments.
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But there were a number of areas were Pakistan could draw lessons from and adapt the solutions according to local needs.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, while lauding China’s success in poverty reduction, especially by cultivating huge success under MDGs on poverty reduction, said that China has achieved its goals through targeted interventions and creating strong ownership of the people with the developmental process.