China studying ri`s poverty eradication efforts

Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - China is studying the ways in which Indonesia is reducing poverty as part of its efforts to balance its phenomnal economic growth.

"We found that high economic growth does not always lead to public welfare as an economic gap still remains," Chinese Minister for Poverty Eradication Fan Xiaojian said during a visit to a Self-Reliant Community Development National Program (PNPM) project in Bogor, West Java, on Friday.

He said poverty alleviation has been the focus of the Chinese government`s development plan.

He said in the past three decades the Chinese government has been able to reduce the number of poor people in that country to 26 millions from 250 millions.

"Poverty alleviation must be supported by pro-people policies like those taken by the Indonesian government," he said.

Indonesia`s minister of national development planning/head of national development planning board (Bappenas), Armida S Alisjahbana, said the Chinese government had used Indonesia as a reference for overcoming various poverty problems emerging out of income disparity.

She said the rate of poverty in Indonesia had also continued to decline. According to the National Statistics Agency data the number of poor people in Indonesia in March 2010 reached 31.02 million (13.33 percent), down 1.51 million from 32.53 million (14.15 percent) in March 2009.

Before the period, the number of the poor in cities declined by 0.81 million (from 11.91 million in March 2009 to 11.10 million in March 2010) and in villages 0.69 million (from 20.62 million in March 2009 to 19.93 million in March 2010).

In March 2011 the number of poor people in the country dropped by 1.0 million to 30.02 million (12.49 percent) compared to 31.02 million in March 2010.

During March 2010 to March 2011 the number of poor people in cities declined by around 0.05 million )from 11.10 million in March 2010 to 11.05 million in March 2011) and in villages by around 0.95 million (from 19.93 million in March 2010 to 18.97 million in March 2011).

Armida said the government had been able to reduce the number of the poor through PNPM.

"It is this program that has been taken as an example by various countries for reducing poverty in the countries concerned including China," she said. (*)