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China, ASEAN to build common agricultural supplies market
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China-ASEAN Chamber of Agricultural Commerce (CACAC), the first international chamber of commerce between China and southeast Asian countries, was set up in Nanning on Tuesday ahead of the 5th China-ASEAN Expo to prompt a common agricultural supplies market in the region.

It aims to give more benefits to the farmers, agricultural supply and trade companies and agricultural institutions in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone, which is expected to become one of the three major pillars of the world economy after its establishment in 2010, according to sources with the chamber.

The CACAC is conducive to the exchanges on agricultural supply, farm produce, food and information between China and ASEAN countries, said Chen Zhangliang, vice chairman of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China.

Agricultural supply has become a global focus under the background of world food safety. The CACAC will play an important role in strengthening international procurement and information exchanges, said Zhao Xianren, vice president of All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives.

China's expertise on planting rice will help Brunei less dependent on foreign imports as 95 percent of Brunei's rice was imported from Thailand, said Jeffery Duraman, Brunei Malay Entrepreneurs secretary general.

Together with All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, the CACAC will hold an international cooperatives procurement conference on the 6th China-ASEAN Expo next year.

The commerce chamber, initiated by Guangxi Regional Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives and China National Agricultural Means of Production Group, is a multinational and non- profit organization with 68 member companies. It plans to establish a common market of agricultural supplies through exchanges of information, trade and program cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2008)

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