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Yunus advises China to follow different development path to avoid wealth concentration in the hands of the few

28th February, 2017

Yunus advises China to follow different development path to avoid wealth concentration in the hands of the few

Caption:Top executives of key financial institutions of China with Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus in Beijing.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus launched Yunus Social Business Centre at Renmin University in China (RUC) on 26 February. A leading university in China in the field of social sciences, is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017, is the first Beijing based university that has established a Yunus Social Business Center. The purpose of the center is to spread the idea of social business to its academics and students by creating courses on social business and also engage with business, industry, government and policy makers to spearhead social business and micro​-​finance in China. This is the 35th Yunus Social Business Centre. Other YSBCs are established in 34 other universities around the world. Professor Yunus was invited to the university to launch the centre. Vice Chancellor of the University explained why the university decided to set up the Centre.


The centre is a joint initiative of the business school of Renmin University and the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion (CAFI) which is working on accelerating financial inclusion for the rural poor in China. The University on this occasion also organized a day long forum on social business and micro-​credit at the university where the experience of Grameen micro​-​credit and developments in social business were discussed in different sessions throughout the day. Professor Yunus made a keynote speech to open the conference, a public speech and later in the evening an address to the business school students of RUC. He also participated as a judge at a competition for social business design plan organized by the YSBC@RUC, where the three winning business plans addressed climate change, eco-farming and sustainable giving.


Professor Yunus was inducted as an advisor to CAFI alongside Madame Wu Zhaoling, the former deputy governor of Central Bank of China who worked extensively with Grameen Trust to expand microcredit in China.


On the second day of his stay in Beijing, Professor Yunus was invited to meet with the Vice Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission to discuss about the developments of microfinance and social business in China. The Vice Chairman thanked Professor Yunus for his ongoing support to poverty alleviation efforts of China and pledged his support to Grameen's activities in China. Later in the morning, he was invited to a lunch with the President of Construction Bank of China, one of the top four leading banks of China that has been providing support to Grameen China microfinance projects in different provinces of China. 


Professor Yunus was chief guest and keynote speaker at a special microfinance conference organized by Chinese Association of Microfinance, Grameen China, China Alliance of Social Value Investment. Many of the Chinese practitioners of microcredit exchanged their experiences at the conference including those representing Chinese Association of Microfinance and Grameen China among others. Professor Yunus' message to the practitioners was that China is an emerging economy and can follow a different path than other capitalist countries, where wealth concentration is so acute with huge gaps in wealth between the rich and the poor, and that microcredit and social business can help achieve a more equitable economy and society.


Earlier in the trip Professor Yunus was in Hong Kong for the launch of the first Yunus Social Business Centre at the prestigious Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) which will be supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, a leading Hong Kong foundation. The YSBC at CUHK is the first social business centre in Hong Kong which plans to address issues such as inequality, housing shortages and ageing through social business.


Professor Yunus’ delegation during the visit included Managing Director and Adviser of Grameen Trust and Executive Director of Yunus Centre.


Sitting Left to right: Zhihong YI, Deputy President, Renmin University of China, Yingbi Duan, Chairman, China Foundation of Poverty Alleviation, Prof. Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate, Madam Xiaoling WU, Standing Committee Member of National People's Congress (NPC) & Vice Chairwoman, NPC Finance and Economic Committee & Former Deputy Governor, The People's Bank of China, Qing WU, Chairman, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Duoguang BEI, President, Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion

Standing left to right: Jun WANG, Adjunct Prof. Director of CEIBS-World Bank China Center for Financial Inclusion, CEIBS, Lamiya Morshed, ED, Yunus Center, Weixiong WU, Chairman, Hainan Rural Credit Union, Junfeng LI, DG, Financial Inclusion Department of CBRC, Long CHEN, CSO, Ant Finance, Ning TANG, Founder & CEO, CreditEase.

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