China to set up store chain in rural areas

Beijing, Oct 26 (Calcutta Tube) China plans to establish a major store chain in rural areas across the country, a media report said Tuesday.

It is expected to help promote the government’s five-year strategy to boost consumption, China Daily reported.

‘By the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan all the counties and 90 percent of the administrative villages will have rural chain stores,’ said Chang Xiaochun, director of the market development department of the commerce ministry.

‘The government will inject more funds into the project in the next five years to realise the goal,’ Chang said Monday.

By the end of 2010, the government will spend 4.3 billion yuan ($646 million) to build a network of 520,000 stores in 80 percent of the counties and 65 percent of the villages.

The network is expected to generate ‘sales of more than 200 billion yuan this year’, said Chang.

Fang Aiqing, assistant commerce minister, said it will play a major role in the country’s economic transformation.

‘Domestic consumption will be given top priority in the next one or even two decades, and the potential of rural consumption will have to be fully tapped,’ Fang was quoted as saying.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the average annual income of the rural residents grew by 13.1 percent to 4,869 yuan in the first three quarters of 2010.

The figure was 2.6 percentage points higher than the growth for urban residents during the same period.

Fang said: ‘The export-driven model will have to be changed into one that is led by domestic consumption.’

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