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4th China-ASEAN Expo opens
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The Fourth China-ASEAN Exposition ( CAEXPO) opened on Sunday morning in the southern China city of Nanning. Political figures and business leaders of China and the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN will be present at the four-day event.

Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Laos Bouasone Bouphavamh, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Crown Prince of Brunei Al-Muhatadee Billah attended the opening ceremony of the Expo.

Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan (center)  attends the opening ceremony of the Expo

Johannah Joy Phumaphi, Vice President of World Bank, said the CAEXPO is an effective mechanism to the region's continued economic success.

According to Phumaphi, emerging economies in East Asia maintained an average GDP growth of 7 percent to 8 percent per annum, and trade growth in the region is faster than GDP growth. Intra-regional trade has risen from 43 percent to 56 percent in the past decade. To sustain development and integration in the region, Phumaphi called for more emphasis on education, flexible labor system, and improvement of health system and food safety.

Starting from this year, the CAEXPO introduces the mechanism of country of honor. One or two ASEAN countries will be designated as the country (countries) of honor of the Expo every year, during which a series of activities are organized to promote the country ( countries). This year's honor belongs to Brunei.

"Brunei is very happy to be the country of honor of the 4th CAEXPO. The Expo has become a very important date on ASEAN calendar. ..It is a good platform for future prosperity for our people," said Al-Muhatadee Billah, Crown Prince of Brunei.

Scheduled to run from Oct. 28 to 31, the Expo provides a total of 3,400 booths. ASEAN use 1,128 booths which account for 33 percent and Chinese enterprises use 2,215 booths, or 65 percent of the total.

Exhibits of ASEAN focus on metals and minerals, motor vehicles and accessories, handicrafts, agricultural products and food, while Chinese exhibits center on construction machinery, food processing and package machinery, electric power equipment, spare parts and construction materials.

It is estimated that 20,000 professional buyers will attend the Expo.

Concurrently held with the Expo is the 4th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) and a series of ministerial conferences and forums, covering a wide range of issues including port development, women's rights, tourism and electric power cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2007)

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