The Ef­fec­tion of Nan­ning Chan­nel

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Regional Trade & Investment - By Tao wu

The 15th China- ASEAN Expo ( Expo) and Chi­naASEAN Busi­ness and In­vest­ment Sum­mit will be held in Nan­ning, Guangxi Prov­ince in Septem­ber. For this year’s Expo, Cam­bo­dia is the coun­try of honor and the African coun­try Tan­za­nia along the ex­tend­ing Mar­itime Silk Road will serve as the es­pe­cially in­vited part­ner.

This year is the 15th an­niver­sary for China and ASEAN na­tions to es­tab­lish strate­gic part­ner­ship. Vice min­is­ter of the Min­istry of Com­merce Gao Yan said at the press con­fer­ence that “this year’s Expo will in­no­vate re­gional co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism, en­hance high­level di­a­logue and push CHINA-ASEAN strate­gic part­ner­ship to a new phase; ex­tend the value chain of ex­po­si­tion, strengthen the pro­fes­sional co­op­er­a­tion plat­form and fa­cil­i­tate CHINA-ASEAN eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion to yield new achieve­ments; bring the Nan­ning Chan­nel into full play and boost CHINA-ASEAN ex­changes in var­i­ous do­mains”.

CHINA-ASEAN eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion has yielded re­mark­able re­sults

Ac­cord­ing to Gao Yan, in the past 15 years, CHINA-ASEAN eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion de­vel­oped rapidly with re­mark­able re­sults. In the year 2017, CHINA-ASEAN trade vol­ume reached USD 514.82 bil­lion, 6.6 times of that in 2003 and ac­count­ing for 1/8 in China’s to­tal for­eign trade. China has re­mained ASEAN’S big­gest trade part­ner in nine con­sec­u­tive years, and ASEAN has be­come China’s third big­gest trade part­ner for seven con­sec­u­tive years. From Jan­uary to May of 2018, CHINA-ASEAN trade vol­ume reached USD 232.64 bil­lion with a year-on-year in­crease of 18.9%.

“Chi­nese com­pa­nies are see­ing a rapid growth in terms of in­vest­ments in the ASEAN na­tions and bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment is grad­u­ally strik­ing a bal­ance,” Gao in­tro­duced. The ac­cu­mu­la­tive bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment be­tween China and ASEAN na­tions has ex­ceeded USD 200 bil­lion. In­vest­ment do­mains of the Chi­nese com­pa­nies are shift- ing from man­u­fac­tur­ing, min­ing and whole­sale and re­tail grad­u­ally to in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion like elec­tric­ity, wa­ter sup­ply and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion as well as more di­verse com­mer­cial and trade ser­vice sec­tors. So far, China has set up more than 4,000 di­rectly in­vested com­pa­nies in the ASEAN coun­tries with over 300,000 lo­cal em­ploy­ees.

“As an im­por­tant par­tic­i­pant to the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, ASEAN is the pri­or­i­tized di­rec­tion and sig­nif­i­cant part­ner for in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” said Gao. China has signed in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with such ASEAN na­tions as Sin­ga­pore, Burma and Malaysia, and China has signed in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion plan­ning with Laos and Cam­bo­dia to proac­tively carry out mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion such as in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and eco­nomic & trade co­op­er­a­tion zones.

“The CHINA-ASEAN Free Trade Area was es­tab­lished in the year of 2010 and was suc­cess­fully up­graded in 2015,” Gao pointed out. Both China and the

ASEAN na­tions are im­por­tant mem­bers and proac­tive im­pellers of Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship (RECP) ne­go­ti­a­tion. China will con­tinue to firmly sup­port AESAN’S core sta­tus in RECP ne­go­ti­a­tion, strengthen co­op­er­a­tion with ASEAN and ac­cel­er­ate ne­go­ti­a­tion course in a bid to strive for an early agree­ment. Gao dis­closed that the two sides at­tach great im­por­tance to co­op­er­a­tion un­der sub-re­gion co­op­er­a­tion frame­work like Lan­cang- Mekong River and Greater Mekong sub-re­gion eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism and CHINA-ASEAN eastern growth area co­op­er­a­tion, and the two sides pro­mote the rel­e­vant lo­cal gov­ern­ments and com­pa­nies to proac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion course.

“Based on the dif­fer­ent stages of CHINA-ASEAN Free Trade Area, from ini­ti­a­tion, con­struc­tion to up­grad­ing, the Expo keeps cre­at­ing busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to com­pa­nies in terms of trade and in­vest­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tion, in­ter­na­tional ca­pac­ity co­op­er­a­tion, cross-bor­der zone con­struc­tion, cross-bor­der fi­nance in­no­va­tion and cross-bor­der e-com­merce,” said Huang Wei­jing, mem­ber of Party Com­mit­tee and sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Guangxi Zhuang Au­tonomous Re­gion at the press con­fer­ence.

As a co­op­er­a­tion plat­form emerg­ing to boost CHINA-ASEAN eco­nomic and trade de­vel­op­ment, the Expo is jointly spon­sored by the eco­nomic and trade de­part­ments of China and ASEAN as well as the ASEAN Sec­re­tariat. In the past 14 years, over 200 con­fer­ences and fo­rums cov­er­ing a min­i­mum of 40 do­mains were held un­der the Expo frame­work; the multi-field co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism was es­tab­lished, which drove the launch of a batch of ma­jor projects like CHINA-ASEAN in­for­ma­tion port. From fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade and in­vest­ment co­op­er­a­tion to driv­ing fi­nance, cus­toms, lo­gis­tics, zone, tech­nol­ogy and cul­ture co­op­er­a­tion, the Expo has played the role of ex­ten­sion and ra­di­a­tion well, which ben­e­fits both the com­pa­nies and peo­ple of the two sides.

CHINA-ASEAN in­dus­trial and busi­ness do­mains hope to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in new fields

The CHINA-ASEAN Busi­ness and In­vest­ment Sum­mit (the Sum­mit) was held at the same pe­riod as the Expo, and the Sum­mit was jointly spon­sored by the Min­istry of Com­merce, the CCPIT, and the peo­ple’s gov­ern­ment of Guangxi Zhuang Au­tonomous Re­gion in 2004. By virtue of con­tin­u­ous cul­ti­va­tion and up­grad­ing, the Sum­mit has turned into an im­por­tant plat­form for China and the ASEAN na­tions to carry out gov­ern­ment-en­ter­prise di­a­logue, deepen eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion and boost re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion.

Chen Zhou, vice chair­man of the CCPIT said at a press con­fer­ence themed “build­ing the Mar­itime Silk Road in the 21st cen­tury and the ChiNA-ASEAN in­no­va­tion com­mu­nity”, that this year’s Sum­mit re­flects the as­pi­ra­tion of the in­dus­trial and busi­ness do­mains of the two sides to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the new round of tech­no­log­i­cal and in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion so as to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in the do­main of in­no­va­tion.

“This year’s Sum­mit will con­sol­i­date and up­grade orig­i­nal brand ac­tiv­i­ties; mean­while, the Sum­mit will in­no­vate ac­tiv­ity mode and en­rich ac­tiv­ity con­tent,” said Chen.

Dur­ing the Sum­mit, lead­ers from the coun­try of honor Cam­bo­dia will be in­vited to carry out round ta­ble di­a­logue with Chi­nese en­trepreneurs around the theme “deep­en­ing China- Cam­bo­dia eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion to re­al­ize mu­tual de­vel­op­ment”. This di­a­logue aims to help Chi­nese com­pa­nies to learn about the lat­est in­vest­ment poli­cies and busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment of Cam­bo­dia, and to pro­pose their own de­mands, which will boost trade and in­vest­ment co­op­er­a­tion from two sides.

As one of the in­no­va­tive ac­tiv­i­ties of this year’s Sum­mit, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive New Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum, which is to be held for the first time, will be themed around “the open world will drive Chi­naASEAN Free Trade Area to up­grade con­struc­tion”. The Fo­rum will seek to es­tab­lish an ex­pert ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee for the Sum­mit, which will pro­vide in­tel­lec­tual sup­port to the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the Sum­mit.

An­other in­no­va­tive ac­tiv­ity is the first-time-held Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive Young Lead­ers Fo­rum with the theme of “new re­form, new in­dus­try and new fu­ture”. Young en­trepreneurs born in the 1980s and 1990s from do­mains like in­tel­lec­tual man­u­fac­tur­ing, In­ter­net, new en­ergy, new ma­te­rial and new tech­nol­ogy will be in­vited to the Fo­rum to con­duct start-up projects demon­stra­tion and ex­change. Nan­ning Dec­la­ra­tion for Chi­naASEAN Youth to Serve the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive will be pub­lished, which will lay a solid net­work­ing foun­da­tion for CHINA-ASEAN eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion in fu­ture.

Be­sides, the CHINA-ASEAN Cross­bor­der E-com­merce De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum will be held to up­grade achieve­ment ex­hi­bi­tion and off­line ex­change ac­tiv­i­ties of the orig­i­nal CHINA-ASEAN cross­bor­der e-com­merce plat­form. Themed with “build­ing the CHINA-ASEAN On­line Silk Road”, the Fo­rum will in­vite rep­re­sen­ta­tive en­ter­prises to con­duct on­site demon­stra­tions to boost the con­struc­tion of the CHINA-ASEAN cross-bor­der e-com­merce plat­form; CHINA-ASEAN Com­mer­cial Le­gal Co­op­er­a­tion Sem­i­nar will be held and such re­ports as Na­tional Le­gal Re­search Project for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and Im­ple­men­ta­tion Ef­fect Assess­ment for CHINA-ASEAN Free Trade Agree­ment will be pub­lished and an ex­pert ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee for Chi­naASEAN com­mer­cial le­gal af­fairs will be set up to pro­vide le­gal pro­tec­tion and pro­fes­sional ser­vices for more en­ter­prises.

“In the up­com­ing less than two months, to­gether with the Min­istry of Com­merce and the peo­ple’s gov­ern­ment of Guangxi Zhuang Au­tonomous Re­gion, the CCPIT will de­tail the prepa­ra­tion scheme and quicken to push for­ward all the prepara­tory work to en­sure the high­est level of all ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Chen.

“This year’s Sum­mit will con­sol­i­date and up­grade the orig­i­nal brand ac­tiv­i­ties; mean­while, the Sum­mit will in­no­vate ac­tiv­ity mode and en­rich ac­tiv­ity con­tent.”

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