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1st China-ASEAN Industry Cooperation Conference kicks off in Kunming

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The 1st China-ASEAN Industry Cooperation Conference has kicked off in Kunming on September 17,2010.[Photo Source:Kunming]

The 1st China-ASEAN Industry Cooperation Conference has kicked off in Kunming this morning (September 17).

Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee and Secretary of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee Qiu He(仇和), Laos Ambassador to China Somdy Bounkhoum, director of the Markets Integration Division of ASEAN Secretariat Mr. Subash Bose Pillai,as well as other delegates from China and ASEAN countries attended the opening ceremony.

Laos Ambassador to China Somdy Bounkhoum delivered his speech on the meeting. He praised the achievements of ASEAN–China Free Trade Area since its establishment on January 1, 2010. ACFTA has played a very important role in the region’s economy since it was established on Jan 1, 2010, with bilateral trade and investment cooperation developing rapidly and efficiently. Now it has become the world's third-largest economy after the European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Area, encompassing 1,9 billion people, or one third of the population of the planet. Further, despite the global economic crisis, ASEAN-China relations reached a significant milestone in 2009.

Mr. Subash Bose Pillai reviewed the economic relations between ASEAN and China in his speech, “Negotiations on the FTA posed initial challenges for both sides, and though both sides faced challenges we chose to pay heed on the positive aspects of CAFTA and were determined to ensure that the gains were greater than any initial adjustment costs”, said Mr. Subash Bose Pillai.

Yunnan is taking efforts to promote construction of “bridgehead” towards southwest opening up. Trail operation of Yunnan Cross-border RMB Settlement Center has be launched since July 27 this year, and the capital city Kunming will be build into a regional financial center for cross-border trades. As one of the series events of Dianchi Cooperation for Opening Asia, the first China-ASEAN industry cooperation conference in Kunming today is a specific practice for building Yunnan into China’s “bridgehead” towards southwest opening up, also the witness of the promotion of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area in order to realize win-win situation.

During the first 8 months of this year, the trade volume between Kunming and ASEAN countries has reached 1.37 billion U.S. dollars, showing a increase of 53.4% comparing to the same period of last year, accounting for 19.7% of foreign trade in Kunming.

China-ASEAN relationship and China’s bilateral relations with ASEAN member countries has seen a good momentum since the establishment of CAFTA. ASEAN has the fourth largest trading partner of China and the average tariff on goods from ASEAN countries to China is cut down to 0.1% from 98%-93%, with most of trading products enjoying zero tariff. Cultural and people to people exchanges have also expanded, indicating that the economic cooperation between China and ASEAN is entering a period of great development.

Keynote speeches have been given by delegates from China and ASEAN countries after the opening ceremony of the meeting.

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