Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Shāngwùbù
Logo of the Ministry of Commerce

Agency overview
FormedMarch 2003; 21 years ago (2003-03)
Preceding agency
  • Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation
TypeConstituent Department of the State Council (cabinet-level)
JurisdictionGovernment of China
Minister responsible
Deputy Ministers responsible
  • Wang Shouwen
  • Ling Ji, International Trade Deputy Negotiator
  • Sheng Qiuping
  • Guo Tingting
  • Li Fei
Agency executives
  • Tu Gengxin, Leader of Discipline Inspection & Supervision Team
  • Wang Wen, International Trade Negotiator
Parent agencyState Council Edit this at Wikidata
Ministry of Commerce
Simplified Chinese中华人民共和国商务部
Traditional Chinese中華人民共和國商務部

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is a executive department of the State Council of the People's Republic of China that is responsible for formulating policy on foreign trade, export and import regulations, foreign direct investments, consumer protection, market competition (competition regulator) and negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. it is the 20th-ranking department of the State Council. The current minister is Wang Wentao.


Before October 1949, the Ministry of Economic Affairs was the governing agency of the Republic of China on the mainland responsible for economic trade issues. The agency was created in 1931 and reorganized in 1937.[citation needed]

In November 1949, a month after the People's Republic of China was established, the Chinese Communist Party formed the Ministry of Trade (贸易部) while the MOEA continued to operate in Taiwan and several other islands.[citation needed]

In August 1952, the Ministry was renamed to Ministry of Foreign Trade (对外贸易部). Ye Jizhuang was the first Minister and died in the post in 1967.[citation needed]

In March 1982, the Ministry of Foreign Trade was merged with the Ministry of Foreign Economic Liaison (对外经济联络部), the State Import and Export Regulation Commission (国家进出口管理委员会), and the State Foreign Investment Regulation Commission (国家外国投资管理委员会), and became the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade (对外经济贸易部).[citation needed]

In March 1993, the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade was renamed to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (对外贸易经济合作部).[1][non-primary source needed]

In the spring of 2003, the former Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation went through a reorganization and was renamed Ministry of Commerce. During 2003, the Ministry established Forum Macao in the Macao Special Administrative Region as a multi-lateral mechanism for cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.[2]: 62 

In 2006, the Ministry of Commerce oversaw the program of "ten thousand businesses advance westward" in conjunction with the Hu-Wen administration's early emphasis on balancing regional development.[3]: 217 

The ministry also incorporates the former State Economic and Trade Commission and the State Development Planning Commission.

Ministry of Trade
Ministry of Foreign TradeMinistry of Foreign Economic LiaisonState Import and Export Regulation CommissionState Foreign Investment Regulation Commission
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
State Economic and Trade CommissionState Development Planning Commission
Ministry of Commerce

In 2018, the ministry lost its powers and responsibilities regarding anti-monopoly, intellectual property, counterfeit goods, foreign aid, and some financial products to other departments.[4]


The MOFCOM is in charge of the administration of foreign trade and is China's primary foreign trade negotiator.[5]: 210  It additionally is responsible for domestic trade, export and import regulations, foreign direct investment, market competition, commodity market operations, consumer protection, industrial damage investigations, implementing anti-dumping and countervailing measures, international cooperation, and relations with the World Bank. It works with the National Development and Reform Commission to draft negative lists for foreign investments at the national level and for special economic zones.[4]

MOFCOM is China's most important negotiator in the global governance of intellectual property.[5]: 210–211 

MOFCOM additionally has responsibilities on economic relations with Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.[4] To that end the Vice Minister An Min, and the previous Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, Antony Leung, concluded the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). New agreements are continually negotiated between An and the current Financial Secretary John Tsang under the auspices of the CEPA. Similar agreements were also concluded between the MOFCOM and Secretariat for Economy and Finance of Macau.[citation needed]

List of ministers

Name Took office Left office
Minister of Trade
Ye Jizhuang October 1949 August 1952
Minister of Foreign Trade
Ye Jizhuang[6] August 1952 June 1967
Lin Haiyun[6] June 1967 July 1970
Bai Xiangguo[6] July 1970 October 1973
Li Qiang[6] October 1973 September 1981
Zheng Tuobin September 1981 March 1982
Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade
Chen Muhua March 1982 March 1985
Zheng Tuobin March 1985 December 1990
Li Lanqing December 1990 March 1993
Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation
Wu Yi March 1993 March 1998
Shi Guangsheng March 1998 March 2003
Minister of Commerce
Lü Fuyuan March 2003 February 2004
Bo Xilai February 2004 December 2007
Chen Deming December 2007 March 2013
Gao Hucheng March 2013 February 2017
Zhong Shan February 2017 December 2020
Wang Wentao December 2020 Incumbent


A ministerial-level MOFCOM vice minister serves as the International Trade Representative, representing China at bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.[4]

The Ministry of Commerce is structured into the following departments:[7]

Foreign Economic Cooperation
Fair Trade for Import and Export
Market Economic Order
Foreign Investment Administration
Market Operation
Aid to Foreign Countries
Treaty and Law
WTO Affairs
Trade in Services
Market System
Commercial Reform
Asian Affairs
Western Asian & African Affairs
American & Oceanian Affairs
International Trade and Economic Affairs
Taiwan, Hong Kong & Macao
General Economic Affairs
Foreign Trade
Electromechanical Products & Science and Technology Industry
Administrative / Corporate Services
General Office
Human Resources
Policy Research
Injury Investigation
Negotiation Office
Retired Officials
Committee of Communist Party
Discipline Supervision & Investigation Group
Bureau of Discipline Supervision
Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation
World Economy
Consumption and Distribution
International Trade
Foreign Investment
Industry Development and Strategy
Commodity Research
International Trade in Services
Overseas Investment and Economic Cooperation
Asian and African Studies
Development Cooperation
Credit and E-commerce
Strategic Trade and Security

See also


  1. ^ "Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation". Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  2. ^ Shinn, David H.; Eisenman, Joshua (2023). China's Relations with Africa: a New Era of Strategic Engagement. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-21001-0.
  3. ^ Ang, Yuen Yuen (2016). How China Escaped the Poverty Trap. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-1-5017-0020-0. JSTOR 10.7591/j.ctt1zgwm1j.
  4. ^ a b c d "Decoding Chinese Politics". Asia Society. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b Cheng, Wenting (2023). China in Global Governance of Intellectual Property: Implications for Global Distributive Justice. Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies series. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-031-24369-1.
  6. ^ a b c d Gene T. Hsiao (1977). The Foreign Trade of China: Policy, Law, and Practice. University of California Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-520-03257-6.
  7. ^ [1] Archived April 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine