China helps least developed countries with concrete actions

09:11, May 12, 2011      

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China said in Istanbul on Wednesday that the least developed countries have become its priority in providing foreign aid, while providing them with assistance without political preconditions.

The statement was made by Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying at the 5-day UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which started in Istanbul from Monday till Friday.

Fu said that the share of China's aid to LDCs in its total foreign aid stood at 40 percent in 2009 and exceeded 50 percent in 2010.

The Chinese government has provided economic and technical assistance to 46 LDCs, covering nearly 1,000 projects in such sectors as industry, agriculture, culture and education, public health, communications, electricity, energy, transportation and public utilities, he said.

China also contributed an additional 50 billion U.S. dollars to the IMF, with an explicit request that the fund should be used first and foremost to the LDCs.

Meantime, China has reduced and canceled debts to relieve the burden of recipient countries and promote their sustainable development. Since 2000, the Chinese government has announced six debt reductions or exemptions for matured interest-free loans owed by LDCs and heavily indebted poor countries.

By the end of 2010, China had signed debt relief protocols with 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific region. Some 423 matured debts were canceled, including 23.8 billion RMB (about 36.6 billion U.S. dollars) debts owed by 44 LDCs.

"These measures have mitigated the financial pressure and accelerated the poverty alleviation process of the related countries," he said.

The Chinese official said that China has also opened up market, increased imports and helped enhance LDCs' trade capacity. Now, China has provided zero-tariff treatment to most imported goods from relevant LDCs.

He said that China has expanded investment to create more jobs and promote the endogenous growth in LDCs. At present, China has worked with the governments in countries like Ethiopian, Zambia and Cambodia in developing overseas trade and economic zones, which have effectively promoted investment, increased tax revenue and created job there.

To increase the capacity building in LDCs, China has launched a large-scale foreign aid training program since 1980s. More than 26, 000 officials and technical personnel from LDCs were trained in various fields.

In the coming five years, he said, China will train 80,000 personnel in various fields for other developing countries, including LDCs.

Source: Xinhua
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