South-South Integration and the SDGs: Enhancing Structural Transformation in Key Partner Countries of the Belt and Road Initiative

There is growing recognition that meeting the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is inextricably linked with the process of structural transformation.

However, having adopted a “hands-off” approach to economic reform in recent decades, many developing country governments are lacking the institutional capabilities to effectively design, manage, coordinate, implement, and evaluate the strategic economic interventions and policy measures needed to effectively promote structural transformation and achieve the SDGs.

Within the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the economic interactions it entails, the project aims to build capacity in partner countries in the key policy areas of investment, trade, finance/debt, and technology, by indirectly learning from China’s development experience and by directly drawing from China’s existing institutional capabilities.

Focused on the key economic policy areas of investment, trade, finance/debt, and technology, the expected results of the project activities are:

  1. Improved understanding in pilot countries of policy lessons learned from China’s experience in structural transformation.

  2. Adaptation of these lessons according to domestic conditions and objectives in pilot countries.

The key beneficiary pilot countries are: Ethiopia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. UNCTAD is the implementing agency responsible for the project in collaboration with other partners.


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UNIDO, UNESCAP, UNECA, UNDP, together with the Center for International Knowledge on Development and the Development Research Centre of the State Council (China).


2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund


 Ethiopia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka




$ 948,307



South-South cooperation