Financing for the SDGs Put under the Spotlight at High-level Forum co-hosted by CICETE and UNDP during the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS)

September 4, 2022

The China SDG Finance International Forum 2022 held in Beijing

4 September, Beijing - The China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today co-hosted Investing in the Future: China SDG Finance International Forum 2022 - an official side event of the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

The forum was supported by the Shenzhen Financial Supervision Bureau, Chengdu Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, China Alliance of Social Value Investment, International Institute of Green Finance of the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) Expert Committee and was organized by the China Sustainability Tribune.

Globally, financing is one of the most significant challenges to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To achieve the SDGs in developing countries, an additional 1.7 trillion needs to be raised annually to meet the total financing gap of 4.2 trillion USD.[1] Financing the SDGs requires significant changes in the global financial system and the institutions that hold, manage, or regulate financial flows and transactions.

“Reallocating just 1.1 percent of global financial assets would be able to cover the SDG financing gap,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China in her opening remarks. “This is a valuable investment in our collective future that makes economic sense – achieving the SDGs by 2030 could open 12 trillion USD of global business opportunities and by prioritizing nature, businesses can create 395 million jobs by 2030.”

Through online and offline hybrid channels, the forum invited both domestic and international stakeholders to engage in discussion on key opportunities and challenges in promoting greater investment for advancing and realizing the SDGs in China.

In particular, policymakers from national and local governments and experts from domestic and international organizations, institutions and the private sector discussed global financing trends and the outlook of SDG financing, and shared best practices from China and abroad, calling on stakeholders to take action.

“In the future, SDG finance needs to be mainstreamed in global finance and investment,” said Zhang Yi, Deputy Director-General of CICETE. “This forum greatly contributes to promoting innovative concepts of SDG Finance and will help attract the attention and collective participation of all communities through sharing national and international experience and best practices.”

In his remarks, Mr. Liang Jingyuan, Level II Inspector of the Bureau of Commerce of the Beijing Municipal Government, highlighted Beijing’s role as a demonstration zone for an open service sector and a free trade pilot zone. “After two years of development, the two zones have achieved great results, enabling better services to foreign companies and talents, as well as providing ample opportunities to advancing SDG finance,” said Liang.

During the Roundtable Discussion, representatives from the China Chamber of Commerce, financial institutions, and financial service enterprises exchanged insights on opportunities and challenges in SDG financing in China. In particular, panelists discussed the role of digital technology in accelerating SDG finance and its practices, offered suggestions on the construction of a digital technology-empowered SDG finance ecosystem, and shared expectations for the future.

At the forum’s final session, CICETE and UNDP shared the joint achievements of SDG Localization efforts in China through a video presentation. These include publishing an SDG Report covering 90 cities in China, supporting local governments to mainstream the SDGs in local social and economic development policies, and helping to devise gender-responsive development strategies. Two SDG innovation labs in Chengdu and Suzhou have also been launched, supporting the exploration of technology-powered solutions for transition to a low-carbon economy.

The forum concluded with the announcement of a collective pledge to work towards accelerating SDG finance in China. Fourteen institutions joined the announcement, calling for greater cooperation between SDG finance stakeholders. In particular, it emphasized the development of channels for dialogue and communication between government institutions, international organizations, civil society and chambers of commerce, finance and investment institutions, enterprises, and research institutions, to further promote partnerships as part of an SDG finance ecosystem.

[1] OECD (2020)