China-ASEAN cooperation injects new impetus into global trade, investment growth

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This year marks the 10th anniversary of both the vision of building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future and the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China remains steadfast in promoting high-level opening-up, expands mutually beneficial cooperation with ASEAN countries on all fronts, and advances regional economic integration and trade cooperation, injecting new impetus into global trade and investment growth.

In recent years, with the deepening trade exchanges between China and ASEAN, more and more products from ASEAN countries, such as durians from Thailand and coffee from Malaysia, have entered the Chinese market. At the same time, China’s advantageous products in intelligent manufacturing, green and low-carbon industries are also accelerating their steps overseas. Over the past 20 years, the trade volume between China and ASEAN has increased by 16.8 times.

Investment cooperation between China and ASEAN is flourishing. The opening of the China-Laos Railway has realized the long-held dream of the Lao people to transform their landlocked country into a land-linked hub. The construction of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has reduced the travel time between the two places from five hours to less than two hours, taking Cambodia into a “high-speed era.” The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, jointly built by provincial-level regions in western China and ASEAN countries, has developed rapidly over the years, expanding the number of destinations to 393 ports in 119 countries and regions. China and ASEAN, with growing investment cooperation, have become significant investment sources and destinations for each other.

The 20th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit were held in Nanning, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in September this year, joined by high-level delegations from China and ASEAN countries.

During the events, deals were signed for 470 projects with a combined investment of 487.3 billion yuan($68.54 billion). Both figures set a new record in history.

This year, with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement entered into force for all its 15 signatory states, a series of high-quality cooperative projects exploring institutional opening up between China and ASEAN countries have been progressing in an orderly manner, including a China-Vietnam smart port project aiming to achieve 24-hour intelligent customs clearance, as well as a China-ASEAN drug quality exchange platform that focuses on the cooperation in traditional drug regulation policies and mutual recognition of herbal medicine standards.

At the recently hosted “Invest in China Year – A Trip to Guangxi Special Promotional Event,” Cai Lixin, executive vice-chairperson of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, noted that Guangxi is at the forefront of and serves as a gateway for China’s opening-up and cooperation with ASEAN. The region has a solid foundation and vast prospects for cooperation with ASEAN countries, she added.

With the launch of the Version 3.0 China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and the comprehensive implementation of the RCEP, Guangxi is working to create a convenient market for domestic and international dual circulation and accelerate the development of the China-ASEAN Industrial Cooperation Zone, Cai said.

It is reported that Guangxi, leveraging its geographical advantages, has established the China-ASEAN Industrial Cooperation Zone by utilizing the existing industrial parks in Nanning, Beihai, Fangchenggang, Qinzhou, Yulin, Baise and Chongzuo. The total planned area of the zone is approximately 1,500 square kilometers, with an initial planned area of 80 square kilometers.

Currently, China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development, promoting cooperation through opening-up and pursuing win-win results through inclusiveness. A constantly opening-up China will definitely create broader market space for ASEAN countries with its own development and work with the latter to build a brighter and more prosperous future.



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