Sunday, March 6, 2011
"The most important thing we can do is teach them (poor people) how to help themselves and help them get rich through hard work," Zong Qinghou, the founder of China's largest soft drinks maker Wahaha, told a news conference.
Zong, who leapt 11 places to top the Hurun Rich List in 2010 with a fortune of $12 billion, is one of nearly 3,000 delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC) meeting in Beijing.
"In the 30 years since reform and opening up, people's living standards have increased greatly but our goal is to make them even better," the beverage tycoon told reporters.
Over the next five years "we will attach even more importance to (income) distribution and further reduce the wealth gap."
Wahaha, which is based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, gave its workers a pay rise every year and had built factories in poor regions to "create job opportunities and help local economic development", Zong said.
Companies should "first create wealth for society and let the workers get rich first."
"If they have strong conditions and more economic power, they can do more charity work."
Zong praised government efforts to improve the country's social safety net and boost wages which has allowed people "to dare to spend money."
"Now we are proposing to expand the distribution so incomes can be further increased," he said.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that the country aimed to "basically eradicate poverty" within less than a decade.