On the morning of March 30, the Yunnan Representative Office of Overseas NGOs issued their long-awaited registration credentials to the first batch of overseas NGOs. Nine NGOs from outside of Mainland China, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (US), Family Health International (US), Human People to People (Switzerland), Fred Hollows Foundation (Australia), Health Poverty Action (UK), MSI Professional Services International (HK), Cedar Fund (HK), World Vision (HK) and Ricci Social Services Foundation (Macau) all received their registration credentials during an official ceremony.
Chen Zhong Wen, the chief delegate for the Yunnan Representative Office of Overseas NGOs and the deputy director of the Provincial Public Security Department, attended the award ceremony alongside the Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission and the Provincial Department of Forestry, the Provincial Poverty Alleviation Office and the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office. In his congratulatory speech, Chen emphasized Yunnan’s wish to continue its cooperation with overseas NGOs.
Chen also reminded the audience that in 2010, Yunnan implemented the “Interim Provisions on Administering the Activities of Overseas NGOs in Yunnan”. This law allowed the temporary development of overseas NGOs in various fields of public welfare, including poverty alleviation, environmental protection, public health, emergency aid, education, and infrastructure in minority areas. This helped bring in large scale investment, skills, social services and ideas that helped to bolster social and economic development in Yunnan. Chen emphasized Yunnan’s need to continue working closely with overseas NGOs.
Since the implementation of the “Overseas NGO Law” in January, the operations of the Yunnan Representative Office of Overseas NGOs have got off to a smooth start. On January 3 a service window was opened that began offering services such as online registration, consulting, printing, copying and scanning. At the same time, the office launched a website that offered downloadable resources, information, online appointments and other services. In the three months that they have been open, the registration services have helped organizations from various countries that have offices in Yunnan.