Enterprise-plus program to help migrants enjoy the fruits of sustainable development

Having worked away from Xiushui village in Guizhou province for nearly a quarter of a century, Zhang Zuowu has

returned home, after hearing of plans by a local company to completely renovate and develop his hometown.

Zhang is now working for a local tourism company at a salary almost equal to the one he was on before, thanks to Guizhou Xingwei Group Co Ltd, one of the biggest firms in the province.

"But the most important thing is my family can now live together, and I can take care of my children," Zhang said.

In the past, villagers from Xiushui generally move away to cities on the coast to make a living. But now more and more are migrating back instead, because there are jobs.

In total Xingwei Group has earmarked spending of 377 million yuan ($58 million) to its project to turn the once poverty-stricken community in Anshun city's Puding county into a thriving new village.

Zhang Zhuyu, its assistant chairman, says the investment is set to completely upgrade the village's aging public infrastructure, and create an all-new tourism industry.

The investment involves the construction of 56 tourist attractions, including a race course, archery field, water park, fishing pond and build related infrastructure, such as hotels and malls.

The plans also extend into regional agriculture, including the development of organic vegetable, fruit and flower farms, and raising poultry, which will also act as what Zhang calls "ecological sight-seeing agriculture".

But arguably the headline part of the plan for Zhang Zuowu and his fellow villagers, is that 400, two-storey houses will be built, and given to them for free. The hope is that many will also double as guesthouses, as well as homes.

Founded in 1999, the diversified Xingwei Group is headquartered in Anshun city's economic and technological development zone, where it neighbors minerals, real estate, tourism, culture and service industry firms, with total assets worth nearly 10 billion yuan ($1.52 billion).

"The company will help Xiushui village establish its own modern enterprise management system, and provide training, resources and technical support, as well as clean up and then protect the local environment," said Zhang.

Wang Wei, the president of Xingwei Group, who started his business from a small decoration and furniture company, said the village will be developed in a sustainable way to guarantee its future.

"I hope more private companies can participate in such anti-poverty projects."

Fang Dong, Puding county's Party secretary, said: "The county is exploring ways of creating more such 'enterprise-plus villages', which are new models of poverty alleviation.

Dong Xianwu contributed to this story.

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(China Daily USA 02/09/2016 page15)


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