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Remarks at the 39th Session of the IFAD Governing Council

Shaolin Yang

Alternate Governor, Director-General Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation

Ministry of Finance, China

February 17, Rome

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, President Nwanze, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to be here again for the 39th session of the Governing Council. At the beginning, I would like to congratulate IFAD on its achievements since the last session. 2016 marks the official launch of the new Sustainable Development Agenda, as well as the start of IFAD10. It is the time for us to take concrete actions to translate our ambitious agenda into reality. Against this backdrop and considering the theme of this conference, I would like to share my thoughts on issues with colleagues here:

First, agricultural development and rural poverty reduction should remain at the core of IFAD agenda, for which the government, rural people themselves and private sectors need to work jointly. Nowadays, the international community is facing daunting challenges, some of which are emerging issues, while the others including rural development and poverty reduction remain at our core agenda for quite a long period but with changing and more sophisticated features. We shall not remit our joint efforts on rural development. It is critical for the government to adopt strategies and policies conducive to agricultural and rural development, and divert increased fiscal resources into rural areas. Apart from promoting public investment, we also need to increase the role of the market, improve rural financial services and mobilize more private investment into agriculture.

Second, the international community needs to strengthen its cooperation in development financing, especially for rural development and poverty reduction in developing countries. North-South cooperation should remain the main channel for providing assistance to developing countries. Given the great financial needs in agricultural development and rural poverty reduction, developed member countries should continue to fulfill their commitment and shoulder more responsibility, and ensure long-term, stable, and sustainable ODA to developing countries. In this context, South-South cooperation could serve as a useful complement, it's contribution to the international development should be adequately valued and recognized. We encourage IFAD continue to play catalytic role in promoting and advancing South-South cooperation, which will help to encourage and provide valuable diversified customer-tailored solutions on rural transformation and agriculture development. With the increase of its contribution to IFAD10 by 141%, China as a developing member country is willing to work with IFAD and other development partners on bringing the South-South cooperation, be it in tri-party or multi-party form to a new level.

Third, we fully support IFAD for playing a bigger, better and smarter role. IFAD should strengthen its role as an international financial institution. Its financial capacity should be further enhanced by increasing core contribution in the near term, and on this basis, IFAD should also be encouraged to explore all other possible financing options including but not limited to borrowing from sovereign entities and other stakeholders including the market. IFADs need to make itself stronger through conducting balanced cooperation with its developing members, both MICs and LDCs, as well as further improving its governing structure which will better reflect the new reality and help maintain its legitimacy and gain the increasing support from emerging economies.

Ladies and gentleman, this year also marks the start of China's 13th five-year development program. The Chinese government would pay its utmost endeavor to lift all the remaining 70 million rural poor out of poverty by 2020. This is an ambitious commitment, but we are determined to achieve it. In this process, we wish to work closely with IFAD and other development partners, and would also like to continuously contribute to this global development endeavor based on our capacity.

Thank you very much!