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China-ASEAN trade to top 300 bln U.S. dollars this year: official

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BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Trade value between China and ASEAN nations is expected to top 300 billion U.S. dollars this year as the Free Trade Area (FTA) continues to offer boosts, said Xu Ningning, the executive secretary general of China-ASEAN Business Council.

The FTA, which started operation since the beginning of last year, has boosted economic exchanges between China and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, Xu said Sunday at a forum in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

The estimated amount will be higher than the 292.8 billion U.S. dollars registered between the two sides in 2010, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier.

Customs data showed that in the first four months of this year, trade value between China and ASEAN nations rose 26.5 percent year-on-year to 110.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Under the FTA accord, the average tariff on goods from ASEAN countries to China is cut down to 0.1 percent from 9.8 percent. The six original ASEAN members, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, slash the average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent.

By 2015, the policy of zero-tariff rate for 90 percent of Chinese goods is expected to extend to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

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