Sunday, February 15, 2009

China speeds up expansion of rural retail network

China will develop a retail network of 510,000 express stores in its vast rural hinterland by the end of 2010 as part of its efforts to help jobless rural workers get back to work, a top Chinese government said today at a press conference.

"We will build 250,000 new stores in 2009 and 2010 and these stores are expected to create about 770,000 jobs," said Jiang Zengwei, vice-minister of the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry launched a plan in 2005 to develop a network of supermarkets and express stores in rural areas by offering subsidies to retailers. The network is expected to cover 75 percent of the rural townships and counties. By the end of last year, 260,000 stores were built.

About 20 million migrant workers were left jobless as the global economic crisis takes its toll on the Chinese economy, according to a recent survey by the Ministry of Agriculture.

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