Dairy Factory to Bolster Tibet Economy

TIBET, CHINA - By the spring of 2019, people in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region will be able to buy locally branded dairy products produced at the region's largest and technologically advanced dairy factory.
calendar icon 20 September 2018
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Co-founded by the local government and major domestic dairy producer China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, the factory is part of efforts to develop the region's dairy industry and improve local incomes.

The facility entered operation earlier this month in Chengguan district of Lhasa, capital of Tibet. Its designed annual production capacity is 50,000 metric tons of liquid milk, with an output value of up to 550 million yuan ($80.2 million), according to Mengniu.

Lhadron, deputy head of Chengguan district, said 30 percent of the factory's annual net profit will go to poor locals in the form of dividends. Another 20 percent will be earmarked for a local poverty-alleviation fund.

The factory will directly provide more than 270 jobs, as well as creating 25,000 job opportunities in supporting industries, such as grass planting and cow breeding, according to the company.

Central State-owned enterprise China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp, Mengniu's largest shareholder, assigned the company the task of building the factory in 2016, with an investment of 310 million yuan.

One of the project's key aims is to serve Lhasa's goal of constructing "a dairy city on the plateau".

Lu Minfang, CEO of Mengniu, said it will provide long-term support to Tibet's dairy industry, boosting economic development and improving local people's lives.

Later, the company will assist with operations and brand construction, to ensure its products enter the market smoothly. Its assistance is also set to improve local dairy product processing and forestry management.

Tibet is the only provincial-level region listed among the country's 14 toughest battlefields against poverty - the other regions are all below provincial level.

Central SOEs, with their strengths in assets, technology, market knowhow, personnel and management, have significantly contributed to poverty alleviation efforts in Tibet for years, as part of their wider corporate social responsibility strategies.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), central SOEs are arranging aid packages worth 1.66 billion yuan for Tibet, up 40 per cent compared with the previous five-year period, said Wang Haizhou, vice-chairman of the Tibet autonomous region, at a high-level working conference held in Lhasa on 7 September.

Over the last two years, 16 central SOEs have invested 600 million yuan in 175 poverty relief projects, benefiting 21,000 people in 240 poor villages. From January to 7 September, the companies hired 1,150 college graduates from Tibet and over 14,000 farmers and herdsmen. In 2017, the figures were 1,348 and 8,700 respectively, Wang said.

Tseten, 41, from a poor family in rural Shannan, Tibet, told Tibet Daily that his 19-year-old son will attend a two-year training program before working at China Huadian Corp Ltd, a central SOE focusing on energy generation.

"I'm really grateful for the policy. It offered my son a good job. When he is employed after training, our life will see significant improvement," he said.

Wang said central SOEs should establish branches in Tibet, optimize local employee assessment mechanisms, raise staff members' salaries and help to promote local specialties, such as clean drinking water and highland barley-made products.

A dozen SOEs signed 15 cooperation agreements with the Tibet government at the conference, involving investment of 16.96 billion yuan.

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