People mingled, bargained, and made deals during the 20th China-ASEAN Expo held at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on Sept. 17. [Photo by Yan Bin/China.org.cn]
During the 20th China-ASEAN Expo, business leaders and enterprises actively explored opportunities for economic expansion and enhanced economic integration between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Spanning an impressive area of 102,000 square meters, this year's event featured a foreign exhibition area comprising over 30% of the total space and hosting about 750 foreign enterprises from 45 countries. The expo showcased a wide range of products and services, ranging from artificial intelligence, green building materials and smart homes, high-end manufacturing facilities, electronics and electrical appliances, food products and beverages, handicrafts, and agricultural products, as well as real estate, tourism, and other services.
"The Belt and Road Initiative brings us a big opportunity for development, having our fruits and a lot of local products exported to China as well as other member countries," said Mr. Vikrom Kromadit, chairman of Thailand-China Business Council, at the China-ASEAN Business Leaders Forum and Conference during the expo.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the 20th anniversary of the founding of China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS).
Dr. Francis Chua, permanent honorary president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCI), told China.org.cn that the past two decades have witnessed significant progress in China-ASEAN cooperation in trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges. He believes this event will promote more opportunities for ASEAN countries and bring economic growth and more jobs.
Fueled by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and its favorable policies, such as lower tariff rates and trade barriers, the economic and trade ties between China and ASEAN have grown stronger, benefiting not only the two sides but also the global economy.
Guangxi Construction Engineering Group, a major state-owned enterprise from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has built four sugar refinery factories in Thailand with a daily sugar cane processing ability of 12,000 tons, providing employment opportunities for local residents, according to Li Yanchi, the group's spokesperson at the expo.
Jiang Yufeng, manager of Qingdao Hankel Trading Co., Ltd., an international trade company, told China.org.cn that her company imports dried date palms from Saudi Arabia to sell in China, and they've seen a surge in orders this year alone.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, China is actively advancing negotiations for the 3.0 version of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area agreement this year, incorporating new growth points in the digital and green economies, which aims to intensify collaborations between China and the ASEAN countries.