Opening Remarks by Ms. Beate Trankmann at Capacity Building Initiative on the Synergies between Sustainable Development and BRI in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

April 8, 2021

UNDP Resident Representative in China Beate Trankmann delivers opening remarks

尊敬的发改委李斌司长 (Mr. Li Bin, Department of International Cooperation, NDRC),

尊敬的陈江河基金会赵勇理事 (Mr. Zhao Yong, Tanoto Foundation China),

尊敬的深圳市发改委秦世杰巡视员 (Mr. Qin Shijie, Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality),

尊敬的发改委刘建兴副主任 (Mr. Liu Jianxing, International Cooperation Center, NDRC),

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

大家好!Welcome to the launch of the capacity-building initiative on the synergies between Sustainable Development and Belt and Road in the post-covid world!

It is my pleasure to be here today in Shenzhen, a city that has been an important leader in demonstrating China’s capacity in innovation for sustainable development. Being at the forefront of reform and opening-up for four decades, Shenzhen has become a high-tech center and pilot zone for continuous reforms in legal, financial, technological, institutional and social sectors.

I am also very happy to see that even during these pandemic times, we were able to gather senior experts across a wide array of fields ranging from international cooperation to digital technologies to green investment, low-carbon development and the energy transition who are joining us from all corners of the globe to share their knowledge and insights.

As Confucius said, “rú qiē rú cuō, rú zhuó rú mó” (如切如磋,如琢如磨/Mutual learning benefits all sides – As knife and file make smooth the bone, jade is also wrought by chisel and stone).

The past year has been a wake-up call for all of us in the development field. It is estimated that COVID-19 could have pushed as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of this year.[1] In recovering from this crisis, achievement of global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Agreement has become more urgent than ever. We have an opportunity to build back better toward sustainability – one which we cannot afford to waste.

But no one country can do this alone. International engagement, cooperation, and financing that is driven by the SDGs is critical. As China’s international development cooperation grows, it is crucial for it to continue taking steps that help advance economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and SDG-informed development around the globe. And to this end, UNDP looks forward to offering our support. We can contribute towards ensuring that China’s international engagements, including those along the Belt and Road, build on global experience, best practices, and international standards that reflect the views of all countries.

Indeed, this is why we are all here today. Leveraging UNDP’s global network and expertise, we have brought together world-renowned experts, senior UNDP officers from around the world and representatives from key partner country governments to look into contextualized and feasible sustainable development solutions. Through focused seminars and two-way discussions over the next nine days, we will explore the important role of international and interregional cooperation, using sustainable investment and financing instruments to scale up low-carbon development, and how innovative digital technologies can help developing countries access a wide range of goods and services.

At UNDP, we stand ready to continue supporting sustainable development in China and across the globe. It is our mission to turn the global vision of the SDGs into a reality everywhere and we are excited to work with various stakeholders to make this happen by supporting SDG-aligned international development cooperation that takes the needs of all partner countries into account.

I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the NDRC and the ICC for driving this initiative and to the Tanoto Foundation for the funding support. My thanks also go to all the senior officials for their interest in attending this programme and freeing up time from your busy schedules to participate.  We hope that each of you will enjoy the knowledge-sharing from global experts, achieve deeper understanding of important sustainable development concepts, and that our joint efforts will bring a positive impact in your work.

Finally, I would also like to thank the Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality. None of this would have been possible without your guidance and support.

Today is the start of an exciting and important journey for all of us, and I look forward to the sharing of inspiring ideas that will foster innovation and boost the resilience of global economies and societies in the years to come. I wish each and every one of you fruitful and informative days ahead!

Thank you!

[1] World Bank (Oct 7, 2020). COVID-19 to Add as Many as 150 Million Extreme Poor by 2021. Retrieved from