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ICBC Advances Financial Support on All Fronts for Rural Revitalization

On June 22, 2021, ICBC held the “Conference on Commendation for Poverty Alleviation & Promoting Services for Rural Revitalization” in Beijing, where ICBC’s outstanding individuals, advanced collectives and excellent cases on poverty alleviation were announced and commended, and the Action Plan for Providing Financial Support for Rural Revitalization and “ICBC Rural Revitalization”, the unified brand of financial services for rural revitalization, were released. According to the action plan, during the 14th Five-year Plan period, ICBC will inject no less than RMB1 trillion financing into rural revitalization every year. Wang Zhengpu, Director of the National Rural Revitalization Department, and Chen Siqing, Chairman of ICBC, attended the conference. The conference was also attended by the senior management of ICBC, as well as representatives of relevant departments including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the People’s Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and the National Rural Revitalization Department.

In his speech, Mr. Wang Zhengpu said that ICBC had made great achievement and outstanding contributions on winning the battle against poverty, thus playing an excellent leading role in the financial system. After the objectives and missions of the battle against poverty were completed as scheduled, China has shifted the focus of its work concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers to advancing rural revitalization across the board, which is no less than poverty alleviation in depth, breadth and difficulty. To promote rural revitalization in all respects, the financial system remains an indispensable force. Regarding ICBC’s support to rural revitalization, Mr. Wang Zhengpu hoped ICBC would focus on five aspects. First, ICBC should focus on key regions and assist them in consolidating the achievements in poverty alleviation. With the key counties for rural revitalization that have already been determined by the central government as the priorities for consolidating the achievements in the battle against poverty, ICBC, on the basis of keeping the responsibilities, policies, aids and regulation concerning poverty alleviation in place even after poverty alleviation targets were achieved, should further develop targeted financial support measures to boost faster development in those counties. Second, ICBC should focus on weak links, specifically, increasing financial support to small farmer households. ICBC, through big data analysis and FinTech innovation, should continue to leverage its advantages of long-time deep engagement in the fields of agriculture, rural areas and farmers and wide coverage in counties to develop targeted and user-friendly credit rating systems and credit products, meeting the financing needs of farmers on production and business running. Third, ICBC should focus on industrial revitalization, specifically, assisting in developing and strengthening rural characteristic industries. ICBC should continue to optimize credit service modes, and intensify research on and support to rural industrial chains and supply chains. ICBC should use financial products to guide and encourage industrial and commercial capital into the countryside, thus promoting integrated development of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries in counties. Fourth, ICBC should focus on the construction of rural areas, specifically, assisting in building livable, business-friendly, beautiful countryside. ICBC should further increase support to model innovation and medium and long-term credit to assist in the building of new beautiful countryside that is livable and business-friendly. Fifth, ICBC should focus on countryside governance, specifically, using comprehensive financial services to promote good governance in rural areas. ICBC should further improve the functions of the comprehensive financial service platform for rural areas, continue to explore new thoughts and new measures to improve countryside governance through application of FinTech, and help and cooperate with grass-root organizations to jointly improve good governance in rural areas.

Mr. Chen Siqing said in his speech that in the great battle against poverty, ICBC fully demonstrated its responsibilities as a large state-owned bank. By implementing poverty alleviation through finance and paired-up assistance at the same time, ICBC invested money, took solid steps and spared no efforts, therefore successfully delivering high-quality results in the undertaking. Getting rid of poverty is not the end but the start of a new life and new endeavor. As a large state-owned bank, ICBC must focus on five aspects on the great undertaking of rural revitalization. First, ICBC will maintain strategic stance, consolidate and expand the achievements of the battle against poverty. ICBC will strictly carry out the requirements of keeping the responsibilities, policies, aids and regulation concerning poverty alleviation in place even after the targets were achieved, ensuring that efforts in policy, investment and aid will only increase, to consolidate and expand the results. ICBC will continue to refine its policies and measures on rural revitalization, and continue to improve the quality and efficiency of services. Second, ICBC will act proactively to build a “bridge” to contribute to urban-rural economic circulation. By leveraging its advantage in city financial services, ICBC will promote factors of all types and modern services to flow into rural areas. ICBC will combine supporting urban-rural integrated development with assisting in expanding domestic demand, and do a good job in providing financing services, to unlock demand and achieve value conversion in rural areas. Third, ICBC will effectively link up industry and agriculture to actively serve rural industrial revitalization. ICBC will meet the needs of local rural industry plans and make overall planning on investment and financing so that capital, projects and industries can form a positive cycle. ICBC will vigorously develop supply chain finance and industrial chain finance to help more rural entities integrate into the industrial ecosystem and strengthen value creation capability. ICBC will stress targeted financial support that will retain more enterprises and talents in rural areas and promote local business and employment, to assist them in achieving common prosperity. Fourth, ICBC will accelerate innovation in services and better promote the development of agricultural science and technology. ICBC will launch more technologically innovative financial products that fit the characteristics of agriculture, rural areas and farmers, and fully serve scientific innovation and technical upgrading in the fields. ICBC will give strong support to the development of biotechnology, green production, intelligent agriculture, etc., to help agricultural technology thrive with financial resources. Fifth, ICBC will increase resource input in certain areas to support the building of a beautiful countryside. ICBC will make comprehensive use of its services and functions such as banking, asset management, insurance and leasing to provide all-round fund guarantee to the improvement and upgrading of rural infrastructure. ICBC will intensify support to the new infrastructure in rural areas and help fill in service gaps and narrow the digital divide. ICBC will enhance technological empowerment and actively participate in the building of agricultural and rural big data systems and credit systems, to help them improve the efficiency of governance.

Mr. Liao Lin, President of ICBC, announced the decision on commendation of outstanding individuals and advanced collectives in poverty alleviation and released excellent cases on poverty alleviation through finance. Twenty cases including “Recruitment of Poor College Graduates”, the innovation in loan products for poverty alleviation “Tibetan Lodge Loan”, and the financing for poverty alleviation through industrial development “Textile Loan”. Mr. Liao Lin remarked that with the unremitting efforts of the whole bank, ICBC made remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation through finance and paired-up assistance, and successfully accomplished goals and tasks. Next, ICBC will continue to improve the adaptability, competitiveness and inclusiveness of financial services and make new, greater contributions to consolidating and expanding the achievements of the battle against poverty and advancing rural revitalization across the board.

At the conference, ICBC released the Action Plan for Providing Financial Support for Rural Revitalization, including 15 financial support measures for rural revitalization. ICBC will, centering on the general requirements of the national strategy of rural revitalization, focus on improving financial supply level, green financial services, the efficiency of intelligent services, FinTech support and the capability to help and benefit agriculture, rural areas and farmers, and fully support agriculture in achieving higher quality and greater efficiency, rural areas in becoming more livable and business-friendlier, and farmers in becoming better off. During the 14th Five-year Plan period, ICBC will inject no less than RMB1 trillion financing in rural revitalization related fields every year to meet such needs as supply of grain and important agricultural products, the building of a modern rural industrial system and the development of new-type agricultural business entities.

In the meantime, ICBC officially launched the unified brand of financial services for rural revitalization, “ICBC Rural Revitalization”, aiming to build a rural financial service system that covers rural areas, agriculture and farmers and provide thoughtful, warm and convenient services to rural customers.

To give full play to the advantages of financial services in rural revitalization, ICBC will officially sign a strategic cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the National Rural Revitalization Department, to make new progress and new achievements in rural revitalization through financial services.