ROME and HANGZHOU, China, April 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Ant Financial Services Group today signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to explore ways to contribute to economic development in rural areas and the reduction of rural poverty in China and other developing countries.

IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, and Ant Financial, a leading technology company which provides digital inclusive financial services, share a common vision to develop rural areas and improve the living standards of rural people.

Charlotte Salford, IFAD’s Associate Vice President, External Relations and Governance Department, and Peng Bo, General Manager, Ant Financial Rural Finance Department signed the declaration.

“Partnerships with private sector entities, like Ant Financial, are vital to reach our objective of eradicating rural poverty,” said Salford. “Using our complementary expertise, together we can improve the lives and livelihoods of rural people.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with IFAD. By combining Ant Financial’s commitment to promoting digital inclusive finance and IFAD’s vision of every rural family living in dignity, we hope to leverage the power of technology and innovation to improve rural people’s livelihoods, ” said Bo.

Areas of proposed collaboration include improving market access for rural producers through e-commerce platforms and value-chain financing for promising rural agribusinesses.

Since 1981, IFAD has supported 29 rural development projects in China, investing over US$862 million and reaching approximately 4.4 million rural households. IFAD-supported projects focus on enhancing income opportunities through improving rural people’s access to markets, strengthening value chains and promoting more inclusive financial services.

Contact:

IFAD
Susan Beccio
Email: s.beccio@ifad.org
Tel: +39 3349533030

Ant Financial
Bell Wang
Email: yixing.wl@antfin.com
Tel: +86 13810385201

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$17.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 459 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and micro enterprises, as well as individuals. Ant Financial is dedicated to bringing the world more equal opportunities through building a technology-driven open ecosystem and working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Ant Financial and our partners serve 800 million users worldwide. Brands under Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit and MYbank. For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antfin.com or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial.