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Silk Road to Bring China and ASEAN Closer

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Nanning, Guangxi, China: Joint efforts in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road are very important for friendly cooperation and development between China and ASEAN.As a step along this road, the 13th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) are taking place from September 11-14 in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The opening ceremony was led by China’s State Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, accompanied by the leaders of Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines and other countries.

Lao Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone gave a speech at the opening ceremony on Sunday morning, saying the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would bring China and the ASEAN Community closer to a common destiny.

I support the idea of the Chinese government in its message at the 13th China-ASEAN Expo on cooperation in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, he said.

In 2015 China was ASEAN’s largest trade partner, with two-way trade volume of over US$346 billion, while direct investment from China into ASEAN was about US$8.2 billion, he said.

This year China and ASEAN are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of their dialogue relations.

The 13th CAEXPO not only highlights the Silk Road initiative, but features exhibitions that are enriched with innovation in science and technology, metallurgy and building materials and financial services, aiming at practically strengthening cooperation in industrial capacity, equipment manufacturing, economy, trade and investment between China and ASEAN.

Some 2,669 exhibiting enterprises are participating in the 13th CAEXPO. Among them, 1,020 are international exhibitors, up by 14.4 percent from a year earlier. 1,460 booths are staffed by ASEAN exhibitors, up by 17 percent over last year, while 954 enterprises from ASEAN countries are also present as exhibitors.

Seven ASEAN member countries have chartered exhibition halls for their commodity pavilions, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Exhibitors from 31 countries outside the China-ASEAN region applied for participation of which 65 enterprises from 18 countries were approved, including Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries along the Belt and Road routes.

This year the number of booths from Laos increased from 80 to 163, featuring food and beverages, handicrafts, Lao textiles and herbal medicines.

Places named as Cities of Charm were Fuzhou in China, Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, Koh Kong Province in Cambodia, Archipelago Indonesia in Indonesia, Attapeu in Laos, Terengganu in Malaysia, Mawlamyine in Myanmar, General Santos City in the Philippines, Singapore, Bangkok in Thailand, and Buon Ma Thuot in Vietnam.

China and ASEAN saw 18 million visitors and dispatched over 180,000 students to each other’s territories. Now, over 1,000 flights fly between China and ASEAN weekly.

 

Source: Vientiane Times