• China-Asean expo seeks to boost trade, investment

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    NANNING, China: Despite territorial disputes with China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Beijing are looking to boost cooperation in trade and investment during a “high-level” business forum here, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

    In a news briefing, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said promoting bilateral cooperation between Asean and China would be on top of the agenda in this week’s 14th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) and China-Asean Business and Investment Summit (CABIS).

    “Bilateral high-level forums on production capacity and investment cooperation will be held between China and Cambodia, China and the Philippines and China and Vietnam; the Lancang-Mekong Countries Roundtable Meeting on Industrial Production Capacity Cooperation will be held to promote cooperation within the Belt and Road framework and to improve mechanisms for the bilateral cooperation between China and Asean,” Gao told journalists covering the business summit.

    “A series of investment promotion events will be arranged, such as the CAEXPO Roundtable Meeting on Investment Cooperation and Promotion Conference on Asean Industrial Parks, the China-Asean Infrastructures Cooperation Forum, the China-Asean Electric Power Cooperation and Development Forum, fund-raising seminars and project matching events, to provide professional platforms for outward investment and international production capacity cooperation,” he added.

    Citing the statement of Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visited Guangxi in April, Gao said the Chinese leader described the CAEXPO and the CABIS as “important platforms for mutual opening-up and cooperation between China and Asean.”

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of Asean and the China-Asean Year of Tourism Cooperation.

    With the theme “Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, promoting regional economic integration through tourism,” the 14th CAEXPO and the CABIS will hold events “aimed at promoting synergy and complementarities between development strategies, deepening cooperation in a wider range of fields… and moving forward friendly cooperation between China and Asean,” the spokesman said.

    Among leaders attending the event are Vice Premier of the State Council of China Zhang Gaoli, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Vietnam’s Executive Vice Prime Minister of Vietnam Trương Hòa Bình, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, and Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin.

    It will be the first time for the CAEXPO to host state leaders representing countries beyond the China-Asean region.

    He added that over 10,000 visitors will participate in business-matching events, including 4,000 buyers representing the 10 Asean member-countries, European countries, the United States, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

    “It marks the first time that an organization of the United States will host a forum at the CAEXPO, and that the UK will host the China-UK Forum on Sharing the ‘Belt and Road’ Cooperation Opportunities. More countries beyond the China-Asean region such as Australia, Sri Lanka, Poland and Uganda, etc., will host their trade and investment promotion events at the 14th CAEXPO,” Gao said.

    The business summit will be held in Nanning in China’s Guangxi province from September 12 to 15.

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