China policy bank to lend around $633 billion to reduce rural poverty

A security guard stands inside a branch of Agricultural Bank of China, in Beijing, on June 25, 2015.
A security guard stands inside a branch of Agricultural Bank of China, in Beijing, on June 25, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - Agricultural Development Bank of China, one of the country's main policy lenders, plans to lend 3 trillion yuan (S$633.16 billion) up to 2020 as part of government efforts to reduce poverty, state media reported.

The bank will lend about 1.1 trillion yuan to support construction of infrastructure in rural areas, according to the Communist Party's official People's Daily. Around 1 trillion yuan in loans will be made available for grain and crop production industries, the paper reported in its Sunday edition.

Relocation of people below the poverty line, tourism, environment, and education are among other areas to which the bank will lend as part of the poverty-reduction effort, state media agency Xinhua reported late on Saturday, citing the bank's chairman Xie Xuezhi.

Last October, the cabinet said China aims to lift all its 70 million poor above the poverty line by 2020. In March, Premier Li Keqiang promised a boost of 43 percent in funding for poverty relief programmes.

Since kicking off market reforms in 1978, China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, but it remains a developing country and the reforms are incomplete, the World Bank says.