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China, ASEAN see closer economic, trade ties

Updated: Jul 10,2017 7:00 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The economic and trade ties between China and ASEAN continued to make new achievements mainly due to political trust and the annual China-ASEAN Expo, an official said on July 10.

Qian Keming, deputy minister of commerce, said at a news conference that China-ASEAN trade of $452.2 billion last year made up a higher share in China’s total foreign trade volume.

“China continues to be the largest trading partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN is China’s third largest trade partner, fourth largest export market and second largest source of imports,” Qian said.

In the first five months this year, trade between the two sides rose 16.2 percent year on year, Qian said.

He added that the two sides are important sources of each others foreign investment. By the end of May, combined two-way investment had exceeded 183 billion dollars, with $108 billion being ASEAN investment in China.

The results “were mainly attributed to political trust, the sound cooperation mechanism and the positive role played by the China-ASEAN Expo,” Qian said.

This year, the 14th expo will be held between Sept 12 and 15 in Nanning, capital of South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, with the theme of “Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Promoting Regional Economic Integration with Tourism.”

Zhang Xiaoqin, vice governor of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, said there will be 30 forums and more than 80 trade deals made at the expo.

Total exhibition area will reach 122,000 square meters, up more than 10 percent from the previous year, Zhang said.