ASEAN-China trade reaches US$514 billion

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Trade cooperation between China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states has jumped from US$55 billion to US$514 billion in 2017, or nearly tenfold within 15 years since both sides established strategic partnership in 2003.

"Two-way direct investment totals nearly US$200 billion in aggregate terms. We are working together on the Belt and Road initiative, with many projects off the ground spanning across infrastructure, connectivity, and industrial cooperation," Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Huang Xilian remarked when delivering a speech at the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN and China Strategic Partnership here on Thursday.

The ambassador asserted that China is ready to build strategic partnerships with ASEAN that is more substantive, forward-looking and important both for the region and the world.

"We support building an ASEAN-centered regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific region that is open, inclusive and rules-based. As we believe in the value of multilateralism and globalization in the world today, we need to object the tendency of unilateralism and trade protectionism," Ambassador Huang said.

He stressed that a trade war would not serve snyone`s interests.

"All parties, including those who are not directly involved, will suffer. China will work with ASEAN and all other countries to speed up regional integration process, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, and uphold rules-based multilateral trading system to safeguard development and prosperity of the world," the Ambassador explained.

He also stressed that China will further synergize development strategies and move cooperation to a higher level.

According to Ambassador Huang, this year China and ASEAN will formulate a ?Vision 2030? leaders? statement this year to set common visions for the future.

"We will also align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Vision of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, take advantage of this year as the China-ASEAN Year of Innovation to enhance cooperation in digital economy, e-commerce and smart cities and inject new dynamism into our relationship," the ambassador said.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2015 as a regional cooperation strategy for the Eurasian and African regions.

Ambassador Huang affirmed that human bond and socio-cultural cooperation are the third pillar in the relationship between ASEAN and China.

"The potentials are huge in advancing cooperation in education, tourism, culture and sports, and promoting exchanges among the youth, media and think tanks," he said.

 

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