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Conference to address poverty and sustainable development in Asia, Pacific opens
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20:07, September 28, 2009

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A high-level meeting on the impacts of the global economic slowdown on poverty and sustainable development in the Asia and Pacific region opened here on Monday.

The conference is organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),in collaboration with Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China, and the Secretariat of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

It has attracted about 350 delegates from 28 countries and regions in Asia and the Pacific, 25 development agencies and embassies, and 13 non-governmental organizations.

Delivering a speech at the opening ceremony, Standing Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung said that Vietnam always considers rural development and poverty reduction as an important pillar in the country's strategy on economic growth and sustainable development. Vietnam takes crisis as an opportunity to take stimulus measures that bring most benefits to the poor and vulnerable.

Zheng Wenkai, Deputy Director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China, said at the conference that China has taken a number of measures to ensure economic growth and mitigate the negative impacts of the global economic slowdown on the country's poverty reduction program.

The measures which target the poor and vulnerable, residents in rural areas include job generation, tax reduction and stimulus packages implemented in rural areas, said Zheng Wenkai.

During the three-day conference, discussions will focus on social impacts of the economic crisis on the poor and those vulnerable to poverty in Asia and the Pacific. Impact channels are going through labor markets, migration and remittances, social budgets, social protection, gender, health, education and training.

The conference will be a chance to share experience and exchange information on how countries in the region adjust to the social impact of the crisis and sustainable development. The event will come up with key policy recommendations for government action across the Asian and Pacific region.

The conference is the third China-ASEAN forum on social development and poverty reduction and the fourth high-level seminar of ASEAN plus Japan, the Republic of Korea and China on poverty reduction.

The ADB estimated that there would be more than 600 million people in developing Asia trapped in absolute poverty this year.


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