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China establishes industry fund to tackle poverty

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BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's first industry fund in poverty-stricken areas was jointly founded by the Ministry of Finance, China National Tobacco Corporation and State Development and Investment Corporation Wednesday.

This is the first such fund with government background and independent operation, an important move to innovate poverty relief and fiscal investment, the founders said in a joint statement.

The initial registered capital of the fund hits 2.8 billion yuan (457.55 million U.S. dollars), all contributed by the founders, and aims to attract more social funding into featured and potential industries in poverty-stricken areas.

According to a cooperation memorandum, the fund will target farming, breeding, product processing, tourism, forestry, clean energy, logistics, high technology, culture, medical care and natural resources.

"Public finance shall improve the livelihood of people suffering poverty, and the fund has made an innovative step in the country's poverty relief work," said Hu Jinglin, the vice minister of finance.

The 2014 central governmental budget arranged 46.3 billion yuan for poverty relief, in order to tackle the weakness in fostering local industries and development ability, such as low rate of return and shortage of long-term investment.

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