Diaa Helmy, secretary-general of Cairo-based Egyptian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
by Ahmed Shafiq, Mahmoud Fouly
CAIRO, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's 13th five-year plan period that ends this year is a defining moment in the history of China, an Egyptian trade expert has said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The plan "has many achievements inside and outside China," said Diaa Helmy, secretary-general of Cairo-based Egyptian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, who noted that it has helped world poverty reduction, with China contributing to the alleviation of global poverty by 70 percent.
"The main theme of China's 13th five-year plan is to provide a prosperous life to its citizens. I have seen this being achieved with my own eyes when I visited China in 2016, 2017, and 2018," said the expert.
Inside China, the annual income of a Chinese individual in poor neighborhoods has risen to 1,400 U.S. dollars in 2019, while the figure was 510 dollars in 2015, Helmy said.
"During the 13th five-year plan, from 2016 to 2019, about 50 million Chinese have been lifted above the poverty line. The cycle is still going on," Helmy said.
Despite challenges and obstacles, including the COVID-19 outbreak, China's 13th five-year plan has been such a success, Helmy said, adding that China's fight against the pandemic has been an example to learn from.
Helmy, who is writing a book on China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its significance to the world, said the 13th five-year plan witnessed tremendous progress of the BRI, which was proposed by China in 2013 for win-win partnerships among participants.
The fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China concluded on Thursday and proposed major social and economic development targets for the 14th five-year plan period (2021-2025).
According to a communique released after the session, China will strive to make new strides in economic development during the period.
The country also aims to realize sustained and healthy economic development on the basis of a marked improvement in quality and efficiency, with growth potentials to be fully tapped, said the communique.
"After achieving economic and social development via the 13th five-year plan, China seeks to achieve further accomplishments in innovation and knowledge in its 14th five-year plan," said the Egyptian expert.
"I believe China's 14th five-year plan will be based on innovation, knowledge and amazing modern technology," Helmy said, expecting China through its coming 14th five-year plan to impress the world with "unheard-of" technologies.
Besides, the expert predicted that the BRI will develop further during the 14th five-year plan.
The BRI helps with poverty reduction as it opens new development horizons and provides job opportunities, Helmy said, adding that Egypt strongly joined the initiative and it is a wonderful portal for African and Arab states.
"The BRI is a historical initiative that doesn't only benefit China, but each state that joins it. It is a safe economic, trade, and development initiative," the expert said.
Diaa Helmy, secretary-general of Cairo-based Egyptian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 29, 2020. TO GO WITH:"Interview: China's 13th five-year plan defining period in China's history, says Egyptian expert" (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)