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Economists Urge Fight Against Global Poverty

Chinese economists yesterday called on the world's developing countries to make poverty-alleviation their top priority in the coming years.

The group of famous economists have called for this message to be included in the draft of the world economic development declaration, the final version of which will be issued during the World Economic Development Declaration Conference taking place in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, November 6 and 7.

Smooth technological transfers and closer cooperation with developed economies were essential means to achieve this goal.

The draft was worked out by six Nobel Prize winners, including Lawrence Klein and James Heckman, and six Chinese economists, including Li Yining and Dong Fureng.

Xiao Lian, director of the Center for United States Economics Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said another 26 Nobel Prize holders have expressed their views on the declaration.

Meanwhile, the drafting committee, which is co-ordinated by Xiao, is hearing views from 25,000 business people from 74 economies.

The draft declaration has highlighted equality, mutual benefit and interdependence in world economic activities.

The guideline principles to boost world economic growth will also underscore the rational use of natural resources to achieve sustainable development, in addition to the fair and equal distribution of wealth between nations, the draft was cited as saying.

"We are in an effort to make the declaration the united voice of developing countries," said Wang Maolin, president of the China International Research Association on Transnational Corporations at yesterday's seminar to discuss the draft.

Hu Angang, an economist at Tsinghua University, said poverty-alleviation should become the top priority of all developing countries.

International organizations such as the United Nations and World Bank have already taken poverty reduction as their major task for this century.

At the Millennium Summit, world leaders committed themselves to halving the number of people living in extreme poverty - people whose income is less than one dollar a day - by 2015.

China now has about 28 million people below the poverty line.

Accompanying the release of the declaration, a series of events including economic forums will take place in Zhuhai.

"They are expected to become China's concrete actions to implement the epoch-making Millennium Declaration by the United Nations in September 2000," said Wang Maolin.

(China Daily August 12, 2003)

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