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China's SOE poverty relief fund to invest $722 million in 2017

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Note: BEIJING - A fund launched by China's state-owned enterprises (SOE) aims to invest 5 billion yuan ($722 million) this yea
 BEIJING - A fund launched by China's state-owned enterprises (SOE) aims to invest 5 billion yuan ($722 million) this year in impoverished areas, according to a board meeting on Friday.

The poverty-relief fund, launched in October 2016, enlisted 51 SOEs to raise initial funding of about 12 billion yuan, which will increase to 100 billion by 2020.

The fund is run by the State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) as part of the country's plan to deploy market forces in the fight against poverty.

Since its debut, the fund has earmarked over 1.4 billion yuan for six projects, covering farm product sales, husbandry and forestry, Zhang Hua, chief accountant of SDIC said.

The second round of fundraising will be completed by April of this year, Zhang said, adding that all the money will be put into use to fund projects by 2018.

Developing local industry is a major priority in the battle against poverty, and China has supported the efforts of poor regions to develop local specialty industries based on their resources, such as the photovoltaic industry, tourism and e-commerce.

China plans to lift all of its poor out of poverty by 2020.
 
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