BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China launched an industrial investment fund on Monday with funding from central government-owned enterprises to support the economic development of poverty-stricken areas.
Fifty-one central government-owned enterprises,including the State Development and Investment Corp. (SDIC) and the State Grid, were among the first group of funders.
The first-phase funding was 12.203 billion yuan (1.8 billion yuan), and it will be gradually increased to 100 billion yuan, according to the SDIC.
The fund will be used to invest in resource exploitation, industrial park construction and urbanization in poverty-stricken areas to advance regional industrial development, said SDIC Chairman Wang Huisheng.
Fourteen poor regions including old revolutionary base areas, minority areas and border areas are priority investment areas, according to Wang.
More than 600 million Chinese were lifted out of poverty over the past three decades -- about 70 percent of the people brought out of poverty globally. China became the first developing country to meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals.
The government has named poverty reduction as one of its top priorities for the coming years, vowing to help the remaining 70 million people living below the poverty line of 2,300 yuan (343 U.S. dollars) in annual income shake off poverty and enjoy essential social services by 2020.