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7th China-ASEAN Expo opens to provide new opportunities, witness fruits of CAFTA

Source:   Time:

 

 

 

Jia Qinglin (C Front), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, announces the opening of the 7th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, capital of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 19, 2010. (Photo Source:Xinhua)



By Xinhua writers Sun Xiaozheng, Sun Yi, Liu Xiaoli

NANNING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- China and member states on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are seeking new cooperation opportunities at the 7th China-ASEAN Expo while reviewing fruitful results from more than nine months' operation of China-ASEAN free trade area (CAFTA).

The 7th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, with the theme of free trade and new opportunities, opens Tuesday in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Buoyed by the zero-tariff framework under the CAFTA, more than 2,000 enterprises from home and abroad are taking part in the 7th CAEXPO, which has 4,600 exhibition booths.

Top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin, Indonesian Vice President Boediono, and other high-ranking officials, businessmen and scholars from China and the 10 ASEAN nations also gathered in the southern Chinese city to attend the opening of the expo and the summit.

The much-anticipated CAFTA was formally launched on Jan.1, 2010. With a population of 1.9 billion and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 6 trillion US dollars, the CAFTA ranks as the world's third largest trade zone following North American FTA and the European FTA.

From January to September, the two-way trade volume reached 211.3 billion U.S. dollars, up 44 percent year-on-year, an eye-catching growth as the world economy just saw a turnaround after the financial crisis.

Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the summit that cementing and reinforcing the China-ASEAN strategic partnership is in the common interests of the two sides.

 

 
Jia Qinglin (C Front), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, attends the opening ceremony of the 7th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, capital of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 19, 2010. (Photo Source:Xinhua)

"We will work with ASEAN to deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, strengthen communication and coordination on major regional and international issues, promote sound and fast development in our respective countries, and contribute to peace, stability, development and prosperity of Asia," Jia said.

"We live at a time of accelerated adjustment in the international political and economic landscape and major opportunities in the development of Asia," Jia said. "The future and destiny of China and ASEAN countries are increasingly closely linked with each other."

Jia stressed that China would continue to pursue the policy of building friendship and partnership with neighbors and following this policy guideline, strengthen strategic mutual trust with ASEAN.

Indonesian Vice President Boediono also addressed the opening ceremony, saying that China and ASEAN together constitute an influential powerhouse in the world's economy.

Boediono said that the realization of the CAFTA marked a new era of China and ASEAN's strategic partnership and a milestone in the regional economic integration.

"China is the full-fledged largest trading partner of ASEAN, while ASEAN also emerges as the biggest destination of Chinese investment," Boediono said, addding ASEAN is expecting more investment inflows from China.

Boediono also said that the Expo would undoubtedly open new doors to opportunities for cooperation, which would mold ASEAN and China into a stronger economic entity in the "ever competitive global market."

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

CAEXPO was initiated by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the 7th China-ASEAN summit in 2003, in a bid to promote the establishment of CAFTA and common prosperity.

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