Cross-border supply chain on agenda at China-ASEAN business leaders' forum

By Wang Shuqing (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2021-09-21

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Cross-border supply chain collaboration via the new international land-sea trade corridor is officially launched in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Sept 11, 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The China-ASEAN Business Leaders Forum & Special Meeting on the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations was held in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday.

Themed "Three Decades of Partnership for Mutual Prosperity in a New Era", the forum was attended by about 200 government officials, business representatives, experts and scholars from China and ASEAN countries.

With this year marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, the political mutual trust between the two sides has continued to deepen, and connectivity, as well as economic and trade cooperation, also have continued to accelerate.

Over the past 30 years, trade between China and ASEAN countries has grown by 85 times, with their two-way investment exceeding $310 billion, said Gao Yan, chairwoman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Bilateral trade cooperation between Guangxi and ASEAN countries continues to develop, with the autonomous region's total import and export to ASEAN countries reaching $237.57 billion last year, registering 1.7 percent year-on-year growth, according to Sun Dawei, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Guangxi Committee.

Guangxi is willing to work with ASEAN countries to make new contributions to promoting the upgrading and development of the China-ASEAN free trade area and building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future, Sun said at the forum.

Over the past three decades, the strategic partnership between ASEAN and China has achieved fruitful results in fields such as trade, political security, and cultural cooperation, said Jurin Laksanawisit, Thailand's deputy prime minister and minister of commerce.

The Belt and Road Initiative has good prospects and will help achieve common prosperity, said Zaw Min Win, president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, adding the initiative will further promote sustainable connectivity, boost regional economic and social development, and make trade fairer.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is modern and the largest free trade agreement in the world, promoting cooperation in trade, investment and many other fields, said Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries.

It is for these reasons that RCEP has become very attractive to investors and entrepreneurs, Mongkolsuthree added.

The Cooperation Initiative on Jointly Consulting, Contributing and Sharing Benefits of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor among Business Communities of China and ASEAN was released at the forum.

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

The event was held under the framework of the 18th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.