MINISTRY OF COMMERCE
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA


The History

Tuesday,December 07,2010 Posted: 10:14 BJT(0214 GMT) MOFCOM Chinese Version

The Ministry of Trade under the Central People's Government

November 1949 - August 1952

Establishment: According to Article 18 of the Organic Law of the Central People's Government and the Circular of the Government Administration Council (No.1,1949), the Ministry of Trade of the Central People's Government was established on November 2, 1949.

Functions: (1) To draft up the general plan of state trading and cooperative trading according to the financial and economic planning of the Government Administration Council of the Central People's Government; (2) To approve the business and financial plan of professional companies and supervise the implementation. (3) To manage and dispatch the funds and inventories of state trading in China. (4) To determine the wholesale goods price of state trading companies in China's major markets. (5) To guide the private businesses of the country and the marketing management of the trade departments of the People's Governments at all levels. (6) To promulgate national regulations for trade accounting.

Minister: Ye Jizhuang

The Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Central People's Government

August 1952 - March 1982

Establishment: On August 7, 1952, according to the resolution passed at the 17th Session of the Central People's Government Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Central People's Government was established to unify the management of foreign trade, and the Ministry of Trade of the Central People's Government was dissolved.

Functions:(1) To work out China's import and export plans and the foreign exchange expenditure plans, organize and inspect the implementation. (2) To draft plans of trade and economic cooperation as well as technical cooperation between China and other countries; be responsible for relative negotiations, agreements and protocols signing, and supervise the implementation. (3) To draft general regulations on foreign trade management and customs management, and supervise the implementation. (4) To supervise the operations of the customs, and strengthen goods supervision and political and economical security. (5) To formulate the business procedures for the import, export, transport and packaging of state foreign trading companies, and manage and supervise the implementation. (6) To issue the license for import, export and transit trade. (7) To research and draft regulations and rules on product inspection. (8) To be responsible for aid of equipment to foreign countries before 1961. (9) To supervise the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) before 1964.

Ministers:Ye Jizhuang (August 1952 - June 1967 died) Lin Haiyun (September 1965 - July 1970)

In March 1982, according to the resolution passed at the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People's Congress, the Ministry of Foreign Trade was merged with the Ministry of Foreign Economic Liaison, the State Import and Export Regulation Commission, and the State Foreign Investment Regulation Commission, and became the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade. The Ministry of Foreign Trade was officially dissolved on March 8, 1982.

State Import and Export Administration Commission, State Foreign Investment Administration Commission

August 1979 - March 1982

Establishment: State Import and Export Administration Commission and the State Foreign Investment Administration Commission were established in August, 1979, as provided by document Zhongfa [1979] No.60.

Functions: To formulate, together with relative departments, the guidelines, policies, statutes and regulations on import and export, technology import, foreign capital utilization and foreign economic cooperation, long-term planning and annual planning about foreign exchange earnings and outlays, and to do research and review experience, and to reform the regulatory system; review and formulate, together with the National Economic Planning Commission (currently the National Development and Reform Commission), China's long-term planning and annual planning of import and export, technology import, economic cooperation and foreign exchange earnings and outlays, to coordinate relevant work and supervise and urge the implementation of the planning; organize relative departments and provinces, municipals and autonomous regions to adopt forceful measures on enlarging export and increasing foreign exchange income; according to the Law of the PRC on Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, formulate and enforce the statutes and relevant regulatory measures, and organize relevant departments to review and approve the agreements, contracts and by-laws of the joint ventures; manage the overall work of advanced technology import, foreign capital utilization and equipment import by all departments and all local regions; supervise relative parties' mastering, digesting, researching and developing the imported advanced technologies; review the long-term economic cooperation and long-term trade agreements and treaties between Chinese and foreign governments, and submit them to the State Council.

Minister: Mr. Gu Mu

Ministry of Foreign Economic Cooperation and Trade

March 1982 - March 1993

Establishment: According to a resolution passed by the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee of Fifth National People's Congress, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries, the State Import and Export Administration Commission, and the State Foreign Investment Administration Commission were merged, and Ministry of Foreign Economic cooperation and Trade was established in March 1982.

Functions: To implement the planning and policies on developing foreign economic relations and trade formulated by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council; to regulate and coordinate the foreign economic and trade activities of all provinces, municipals, autonomous regions and all departments under the State Council; to vigorously develop foreign trade, continue provide economic and technological assistance to third world countries, to do better in multilateral and bilateral economic and technological cooperation, make full use of foreign capital, administrate technological import and export foreign project contract and labor service overseas, government-to-government economic and trade issues, and to serve socialist modernization and development of international relations.

Minister: Mme. Chen Muhua (March 1982 - March 1985), Mr. Zheng Tuobin (March 1985 - November 1990), Mr. Li Lanqing (November 1990 - March 1993)

Ministry of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries

Establishment: As China's economy developed and its international influence expanded, as grew its task of foreign economic assistance. To strengthen the administration of foreign economic assistance, the Second Session of the Standing Committee of the Second National People's Congress decided to establish the State Administration of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries, directly under the State Council. As international situations further evolved, China's foreign-aid tasks further built up. In order to further reinforce and readjust the staffing and configuration of the State Administration of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries, the Commission of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries was established according to the resolution passed by the 119th Session of the Standing Committee of the Second National People's Congress. According to the Zhongfa (70) No.44 Document of the CPC Central Committee, the Commission was formally renamed as the Ministry of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries. The main responsibilities of the Ministry and its predecessors were economic aid to and economic and technical cooperation with other Asian, African and Latin American countries.

Functions: (1) Responsible for negotiating economic assistance to Asian, African and Latin American countries, and signing relative agreements and protocols with foreign countries, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council; (2) Responsible for signing agreements and protocols on technical cooperation with foreign countries, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council; (3) To monitor the implementation of agreements and protocols, keep abreast of the process of foreign-aid projects and technical cooperation projects, and complete settlement procedures, etc. (4) To arrange the utilization plans of foreign assistance funds, work out foreign aid schemes, and deal with relevant matters concerning foreign-aid experts who are going abroad; (5) To undertake work related to attending the standing committees of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, deal with economic and technical cooperation on railway, transport, civil aviation, post and telecommunications, sectors of agriculture, forestry and electricity with relative foreign countries. (6) To dispatch foreign-aid technical experts and inspection experts, recommend and send trainees to foreign countries, and exchange technical materials and physical samples with foreign countries.

According to the resolution passed at the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People's Congress, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries, the State Import and Export Administration Commission, and the State Foreign Investment Administration Commission, were merged and the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade was established in March 1982. The Ministry of Economic Relations with Foreign Countries was officially dissolved on March 8, 1982.

Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, PRC

March 1993 - March 2003

Establishment: On March 16, 1993, it was decided the first Session of the Eighth National People's Congress that the Ministry of Foreign Trade be renamed as the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Functions:(1) To formulate and implement policies and reform plans of foreign trade, economic cooperation and foreign investment; formulate draft laws and regulations governing foreign trade and economic cooperation and foreign investment; establish and execute relevant implementation rules and administrative regulations; be responsible for bringing China's foreign economic and trade laws into conformity with international treaties and agreements; guide the reform on foreign state foreign trade enterprises. (2) To formulate and execute medium and long-term programs and development strategies of foreign trade; analyze world economy and trade, as well as the status of domestic import and export, propose policy recommendations relative to macro control, for instance, recommendations relative to the overall balance and structural adjustment of China's import and export; formulate and execute bidding policies for import and export quotas; research in and promote various ways of trade, including e-commerce; be responsible for planning, issuing and implementing import and export quotas, formulate and manage the catalogue on the import and export products, be responsible for the determination and issuance of the quotas and licenses; be responsible for the matters relative to anti- dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures on foreign products in accordance with China's laws, guide and coordinate the response to anti-dumping investigations initiated by foreign enterprises on Chinese exports; manage the affairs relative to export products after trademark registration; guide the advertisement and publicity of Chinese exports. (3) To formulate and execute policies concerning trade in technology and encouraging the export of technology and complete plant equipment; manage technology import, equipment import, international bidding, domestic technologies subject to state export restriction and re-export of imported technologies; formulate and execute Chinese export control measures, issue export licenses pertaining to non-proliferation requirements. (4) To analyze and study on the situation of foreign investment in China, regularly report to the State Council; provide guidance to foreign investment in China in general; formulate and execute the regulations on foreign investment, participate in establishing the development strategies and mid-term and long-term plans; compile and publish the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries; approve the establishment and changes thereafter of foreign- investment enterprises with foreign equity exceeding the state fixed amount, or of FIEs engaged in restricted business areas, or in businesses subject to quota and license administration; approve the contracts and charters of association and their ensuing changes of large-scale foreign investment projects; supervise the enforcement of laws, regulations, contracts and statutes by FIEs; guide and supervise nationwide efforts in attracting foreign investment, investment promotion and the import and export of FIEs. (5) To conduct a centralized management of China's aid to foreign countries; formulate and implement China's foreign aid policies, regulations and plans, and sign relevant agreements; compile and organize annual foreign aid programs; supervise and inspect the implementation of China's foreign aid projects; manage China's foreign aid fund, concessional loans, special funds and other foreign aid funds; boost the reform on foreign aid modalities. (6) To be responsible for China's foreign economic cooperation efforts; formulate and execute policies and regulations on foreign economic cooperation, guide and monitor the regulation of overseas contracted projects, labor cooperation, designing and consulting businesses. (7) To formulate and execute the country-specific (or region-specific) policies on foreign trade and economic policies; organize meetings of bilateral mixed (or joint) commissions, hold economic and trade negotiations with foreign governments and sign relevant documents; handle important affairs on economic and trade relations with foreign countries and regions; manage economic and trade activities with those countries with no diplomatic relations with China; guide the work of economic and commercial counselor's offices of Chinese embassies in foreign countries. (8) To formulate and execute multilateral and bilateral trade and economic cooperation policies; attend relevant activities organized by international economic and trade organizations on behalf of the Chinese government; be responsible for multilateral negotiations on trade and economic issues, international negotiations on the trade in services, negotiations and signing of the international treaties and agreements on economy and trade, coordinate positions of relevant departments of the State Council in negotiating with foreign parties; be responsible for the negotiations on intellectual property rights with foreign parties; grasp the implementation situation of international treaties and agreements in China; manage multilateral and bilateral free aid and donation for China; to manage affairs on economic and technological cooperation of the UN development system and relevant international organizations; guide the work of economic and trade missions in the UN and relevant international organizations. (9) To formulate and execute economic and trade policies as well as mid-term and long-term trade planning for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR), Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) and Taiwan region; hold economic and trade talks with the competent authorities in charge of trade and economic affairs of HK SAR and Macao SAR as well as authorized non-governmental organizations of Taiwan and sign the relevant documents. (10) To establish the certification standards of the right to operate import and export and international freight agency for enterprises, be responsible for the qualification assessment stated by relevant regulations; to establish management regulations and policies of the development and investment in foreign countries; approve domestic enterprises to invest and set up enterprises in foreign countries (not include financing enterprises), also supervise and manage them; manage to approve permanent commercial organizations of enterprises from foreign countries, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan Region; guide and supervise various foreign trade fairs and exhibitions, business matchmaking meetings and investment promotion presentations in China; formulate and execute the administrative measures on holding the above activities in foreign countries. (11) To participate in the research into the macro-control policies on foreign trade and economic cooperation and propose relevant recommendations; be responsible for the selection of the central fund projects on the development of foreign trade and the management of venture capital; supervise the stated-owned property of institutions at home and abroad directly under the Ministry; guide and manage the financial and accounting work of foreign trade and economic cooperation, be responsible for collecting and publishing statistics relative to foreign trade and economic cooperation, provide information consulting service; be responsible for the standardization and informatization relative to foreign trade and economic cooperation. (12) To be responsible for the training, selection and management of Chinese professionals working in relevant international organizations, Economic and Commercial Counselor's Offices; guide the work of the chambers of commerce for import and export and other relevant associations and societies. (13) To undertake other assignments entrusted by the State Council.

Minister: Mme. Wu Yi (March 1993 - March 1998) Mr. Shi Guangsheng (March 1998 - March 2003) Mr. Chen Deming (December 2007-March 2013) Mr. Gao Hucheng (March 2013 - Present)    

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