Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended the 2013 ASEAN-China Expo (CAEXPO 2013) and the 10th ASEAN-China Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) on September 3, which opened in Nanning city, Zhuang Autonomous Region in China’s Guangxi province. >> ASEAN-China expo opens in China’s Guangxi province >> Promoting Vietnam – China economic and trade relations
Speaking at the opening ceremony, PM Dung noted that China has been the first and the most important external trading partner of the Association of South East Asian Nations.
After the conclusion of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation in 2002, the two countries signed a series of agreements, including those on trade in goods and services, and on investment, completing all pillars of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), the very first free trade area that ASEAN established with a partner state, he cited.
On this firm foundation, two-way trade between both sides has maintained speedy growth, averaging 22% per year. China has repeatedly been the largest trading partner of the bloc, while the former has been the latter’s third biggest trading partner, he said.
China’s direct investment in ASEAN member countries has been growing, while connectivity among businesses and people of both sides has been increasing, he added.
PM Dung said he is delighted that both ASEAN and China have made continuous efforts and initiatives to build an even better foundation for development.
He confirmed that Vietnam always supports and attaches much importance to the co-operation between ASEAN and China, while expressing his belief that the framework will help promote bilateral ties between Vietnam and China.
The Vietnam Government also encourages and creates all possible conditions for Chinese enterprises as well as those from ASEAN to invest in Vietnam, he affirmed.
Vietnam also favours the consideration and discussion of the upgrade of the ACFTA to suit the common interests of both parties and for mutual development and benefit, he added.
The Vietnam PM said together with multi-faceted co-operation, all disputes and differences in the region need settling in a responsible and effective manner. Together, all parties should build mutual trust and political will and consult each other to take peaceful measures for the settlement on the basis of international law, while seeking suitable solutions that are accepted by all sides.
Addressing the opening ceremony, China’s Premier Li Keqiang underscored the significance of the events, which mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership and fuel the two-way trade target of US$500 billion before 2015.
He said the fruitful outcomes of the co-operation between China and ASEAN over the past time, which he described as beneficial for everyone involved, are of practical significance for the common development of both sides.
The Chinese Premier said strengthening co-operation with neighbouring nations in the bloc is a priority in the country’s external policy.
China always backs an ASEAN of strong development for peace, stability and prosperity in the region, he affirmed, adding that his country welcomes, encourages and creates favourable conditions for businesses from ASEAN to invest in China for the common benefit of both sides.
The annual CAEXPO, jointly held by China’s Ministry of Trade, the 10 ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat, is considered one of the top ten Chinese exhibitions and become an important mechanism to promote friendship and trade ties among ASEAN member states and China.
As many as 110 Vietnamese enterprises showcased their products at 200 out of the 4,600 pavilions at the expo this year, more than any other participating ASEAN or regional country.
The expo is divided into five themed areas, with the highlight being the ” Beautiful City” field featuring each nation’s major cities, including Quy Nhon city in Vietnam’s central Binh Dinh province.
The CABIS, initiated in 2004, is an important annual high-level forum between ASEAN and China , aiming to grow their strategic partnership and hastening the establishment of an ASEAN-China free trade area.
PM Dung arrived back in Hanoi later that day, concluding his trip to China.