CICETE: South-South and Triangular Cooperation Featured Partner


Under the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM), the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) was founded on March 12, 1983, with the approval of the State Council. CICETE’s main function is to coordinate the cooperation between China and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO), including their assisted programs in China, and managing projects of general goods supply, South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund projects, capacity building projects under the China-Aid programme to other developing countries. Over the last three decades, CICETE made substantive progress in promoting economic and technical exchanges between China and other countries, and thus contributed to the economic and social development of China and partnering countries. CICETE has also been actively organizing high-level conferences, exhibitions and professional trainings, inviting international experts for short- and long-term activities, and providing project management service to international organizations, government agencies and enterprises. CICETE has also established sound cooperative relations with domestic and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and enterprises.


CICETE is a specialized project management agency for promoting multilateral and bilateral economic and technical exchanges and international development cooperation, improving self-development capacity of assisted countries and building a community of shared future for mankind, to support China’s economic and social development and the achievement of all-round Xiao Kang Society and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Launching Ceremony of CICETE

Work Focus

1. UN Programmes

From humanitarian aid, poverty alleviation, and industrialization to education, public health, and social equality, the partnership between the United Nations and the Government of China has successfully contributed to the overall development of China. As China made significant progress in economic growth and improving people’s livelihoods, the role of the UN has shifted from a traditional donor to a partner, providing technical expertise and supporting China’s global engagement in realizing the shared vision of “leaving no one behind”. It plays an active role in South-South cooperation and assists the UN development system. The reciprocal cooperation enables favourable interactions between China and the UN.

Since 1983, CICETE has implemented over a thousand projects and cooperation programmes, investing over US$ 1 billion. In the last three years, CICETE has implemented over 50 projects and cooperation programmes with UNDP, United Nations Volunteers Porgramme (UNV), UNOSSC, UNIDO and the Pérez-Guerrero Trust Fund for SSC (PGTF) across various thematic areas, including women empowerment, rural revitalization and poverty alleviation, environmental protection and climate change, investment and technology promotion, human and economic development, etc.

2. Foreign Aid to Developing Countries

China’s foreign aid plays a significant role in South-South cooperation: China is the world’s largest developing country. China assists, to the best of its ability, to other developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation. China provides mainly three types of financial resources in foreign aid: grants (aid gratis), interest-free loans and concessional loans. China provides foreign assistance mainly in the following forms: undertaking complete projects, providing goods and materials, conducting technical cooperation and human resources development cooperation, dispatching medical teams and volunteers, offering emergency humanitarian aid, implementing South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund Project and reducing or exempting the debts of the recipient countries. Entrusted by MOFCOM, CICETE is responsible for implementing goods and materials supply projects, managing South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund projects, coordinating and supervising human resources development cooperation projects implemented by the MOFCOM’s Academy for International Business Officials (AIBO).

2.1. Goods and Materials Supply

From 2013 to 2018, China provided 124 countries and regions with 890 deliveries of goods and materials, most of which comprised mechanical equipment, inspection equipment, transport vehicles, medicine and medical devices.

As of now, 1,000 or so such projects have been implemented by CICETE, and about 100 rounds of foreign humanitarian aid have been provided for emergencies, including the emergency response to a number of major natural disasters and epidemics such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the plague in Madagascar, the hurricane in Fiji, the earthquakes in Ecuador, Mexico and Nepal and the flood in Sri Lanka, contributing to the efforts of recipients to meet their humanitarian challenges and promote their economic and social development. (Data source:  China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era)

By March 2021, CICETE has also implemented 307 Chinese-aided projects, in the fight against COVID-19, to 150 countries and 4 international organizations delivering 2,327 tons of goods and materials. China is also providing COVID-19 vaccine aid free of charge, with implementation by CICETE. By March 2021, that aid had reached 69 developing countries and two international organizations in urgent need.

2.2. SSC Assistance Fund

In September 2015, President Xi Jinping announced at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit the creation of the SSC Assistance Fund, with an initial contribution of US$2 billion to support developing countries in carrying out the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In May 2017, President Xi announced an additional contribution of US$1 billion to the SSCAF at the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. By pooling resources from China and the international community, the SSCAF aims to promote South-South cooperation and support developing countries in participating in global economic governance on an equal footing. It is an innovative initiative for the Chinese government to champion the 2030 Agenda and facilitate sustainable development in other developing countries. It embodies China’s effort to value and bolster South-South cooperation and demonstrates that as a major country, China honors its responsibilities and welcomes other countries to board the express train of its development to achieve common progress.

By the end of 2019, China had launched 82 projects under SSCAF framework in cooperation with 14 international organizations, including the UNDP, World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). These projects cover agricultural development and food security, poverty reduction, health care for women and children, response to public health emergencies, education and training, post-disaster reconstruction, migrant and refugee protection, and aid for trade. (Data source: China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era)

2.3. Human Resources Development Cooperation

From 2013 to 2018, China held more than 7,000 training sessions and seminars for foreign officials and technical personnel and in-service education programs, training a total of some 200,000 people. Such projects cover more than 100 subjects in 17 fields, including politics and diplomacy, public administration, national development, poverty reduction through agricultural development, medical and health care, education and scientific research, culture and sports, and transport. (Data source: China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era)

CICETE was entrusted by MOFCOM with the implementation and management of human resources development cooperation projects organized by the Academy of International Business Officials (AIBO) of MOFCOM since 2017. It was tasked with “separating regulation from the operation, optimizing systems and improving operations”. It has held several hundred training sessions every year for China’s major economic and trade activities and foreign aid projects, where tens of thousands of officials and Chinese and local business representatives from over 160 countries and regions were trained, which not only contributed to China’s deep understanding of the recipients and its friendly exchanges with them but gave a fresh impetus to its promotion of international cooperation and communication in all respects.

3. Conference, Exhibition and Training

CICETE organized/co-organized a range of major exhibitions and conferences hosted by MOFCOM such as the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the thematic forum on unimpeded trade of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and the Hong Kong International Fair for Trade in Services, G20 Trade Ministers Meeting,

Meetings of the BRICS Trade Ministers. CICETE also hosted a number of domestic and international exhibitions.

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