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BEIJING, December 26, Xinhua -- The National Forestry and Grassland Administration has helped bring about the anti-poverty cooperation between forestry companies and less developed counties in the country's southern and southwestern regions.

Seventeen forestry companies signed letters of intent for cooperation with Libo and Dushan of Guizhou Province and Longsheng and Luocheng of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Tuesday.

With the contract value totaling 1.75 billion yuan (about $250 million), the cooperation covers wood processing bases and industrial parks, seedling cultivation, and forest ecotourism.

Developing forestry and grass industry is a significant means to increase incomes of rural residents, said Liu Dongsheng, deputy head of the administration.

Liu promised policy support, including subsidies, for companies participating in poverty reduction, and added that the administration will also move to cut red tape and improve government services in poverty-stricken areas.

The output of China's forestry sector surpassed 7 trillion yuan last year, and the government aims to bring that figure to 7.5 trillion yuan in 2018.

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