China Minsheng Investment Group has announced it will carry out a series of public benefit projects to boost the rural economy in collaboration with Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group. The announcement came after they conducted joint field research in Pingdingshan, Henan province.
The projects cover e-commerce, agricultural education and healthcare. They will first launch in poverty-stricken villages in Henan and later expand to Hebei and Shandong provinces.
For the next three years, a planned 15 billion yuan ($2.36 billion) investment will facilitate local logistics, tourism and new energy development in Henan.
Since its foundation, the investment group has been actively promoting poverty alleviation and launching projects closely related to their business, namely agricultural products, retail and telecommunication.
Agriculture, in particular, has been a focus of the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts.
Rather than simply donating money, the company aims to encourage industrial restructuring and to ensure the long-term development of the local economy.
The company introduces and promotes e-commerce, through which agricultural products in remote rural areas enjoy greater access to urban communities.
“Online sales largely reduce costs, as shipping is usually much cheaper than commuting, especially for areas with complex terrain that have little public transportation,” said Yao Guanghui, an expert in e-commerce-based poverty alleviation at the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
Yao said the integration of e-commerce with traditional agricultural industries is a promising business model that will rejuvenate rural markets.
“It can also be used in other sectors, such as manufacturing,” Yao said, adding many people located in rural villages are becoming used to online sales, and even elderly people are familiar with mobile devices.
Agriculture is not the only sector that China Minsheng has been working in.
In 2017, the group initiated its Special Fund for Compassion and Seniorcare to better promote community services and serve the aged, supporting education and recreational development for elderly people.
The group donated $6 million to the Cambodian government to improve local infrastructure in 2017.
In January, the group won People’s Daily Online’s Enterprise of Social Responsibility of the Year award for its continuous efforts in poverty alleviation.
planned investment by China Minsheng in next three years in Pingdingshan, Henan province.