China-ASEAN forum marks anniversary, dynamic cooperation

By Wang Shuqing in Nanning (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2021-09-15

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The Forum on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and ASEAN-China Trade and Economic Cooperation takes place in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Sept 11, 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com]

The Forum on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and ASEAN-China Trade and Economic Cooperation was held in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Saturday.

Themed "Hand in Hand, to Promote China-ASEAN Economic and Trade Cooperation to New Success", the forum was attended by more than 300 experts, scholars and business leaders.

Over the past 30 years, China-ASEAN relations have developed vigorously, said Ren Hongbin, vice-minister of commerce.

The two parties have become the most successful and dynamic model of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and an important engine for the prosperity and development of East Asia, Ren added.

Guangxi is an active promoter, an in-depth participant, and a direct beneficiary of China-ASEAN strategic cooperation, said Lan Tianli, governor of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Over the past 30 years, foreign trade imports and exports between Guangxi and ASEAN countries have increased by 426 times, according to Lan.

ASEAN has been the autonomous region's largest trading partner for 21 consecutive years, and nearly 60 percent of Guangxi's foreign investment went to ASEAN, Lan added.

At the forum, Lan also said the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor has become the fastest and most convenient logistics and trade channel between China and ASEAN countries.

Facing the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, China and ASEAN need to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment to ensure the smooth flow of goods and improve the ability of resisting risks in the supply chain, said ASEAN Secretary-General Lin Yuhui.

The themes of digitalization and sustainability should be further highlighted in China-ASEAN economic relations and cooperation, Lin added.

China has remained ASEAN's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, and in 2020, ASEAN also became China's largest trading partner.

In terms of two-way investment cooperation, ASEAN is China's main foreign investment destination and source of foreign direct investment.

As of August this year, China's imports and exports to ASEAN reached $553.92 billion, an increase of 33.3percent, accounting for 14.5 percent of China's total foreign trade imports and exports during the same period.