Gloucestershire

China delegates discuss rural poverty in Gloucestershire

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Media captionChinese business people have visited Gloucestershire to discuss rural poverty

A group of business people from China have visited Gloucestershire to find out how to tackle rural poverty.

The 20-strong delegation met representatives from Cirencester-based Action with Communities in Rural England (Acre).

Issues such how to attract investment to the countryside were discussed.

China has a growing gap between the rich and the poor. The Chinese government declined an interview with the BBC.

'Biggest challenges'

"Poverty and transportation are a big issue," said Qing Lin from Gloucestershire, a "volunteer village agent" who helps to look after the needs of the Chinese community in the county's rural areas.

"Because if there is no infrastructure, then business cannot operate. I think that is one of the biggest challenges.

"At the moment, the Chinese government obviously is spending a lot of money and energy in urban areas, so for rural areas they sort of lag behind."

Acre is the national umbrella body of the Rural Community Action Network (Rcan), which aims to "support rural communities" across the country.

"Things such as access to services, transport, lack of employment, migration from the villages to the towns and cities for work - we share," said Janice Banks, chief executive of Acre.

"What we [have been] doing is looking at some of the things we have been doing in England to tackle those.

"We will also talk to them about things such as fuel poverty".

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