BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- China will establish 250,000 rural retail stores by next year to create 775,000 jobs for migrant workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the global economic crisis, a Ministry of Commerce official said Monday.
Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Zengwei said this year the ministry would set up 150,000 stores. This and the building of ancillary services, including delivery centers and post offices, which would create "a large amount of jobs" for migrant workers.
He said that since the government started the "Thousands of Villages Project," which encouraged village retail store development, the ministry had established 260,000 such stores, with one store offering about three jobs on average for rural residents. These stores helped ensure product quality in the rural market as well.
Jiang said the ministry had strict criteria for rural retail stores in terms of finance. For instance, companies based in the relatively developed eastern region must have registered capital of at least 3 million yuan (about 428,571 U.S. dollars) and those based in the central and western regions must have no less than 2 million yuan.
"The core problem we face this year is to support the establishment of delivery centers for village retail chain stores," he added.
About 20 million migrant workers had returned home after losing their jobs as the global financial crisis took a toll on the economy, said Chen Xiwen, director of the office of the Central Leading Group on Rural Work last week.