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China to Host China-ASEAN Expo in October

China will host the second China-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Exposition from October 19 to 22 in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Assistant Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying announced at a press conference organized by the State Council Information Center on Thursday.


The expo is the only one co-sponsored by different governments and hosted permanently in China, and the only one that deals with the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) in the region.


A total of 3,293 booths will be set up at the expo, 2,075 of which have been confirmed.


Fu said that ASEAN countries are good neighbors of China. The scale of China-ASEAN trade and economic cooperation has grown in recent years. Since the CAFTA was launched in 2002, bilateral trade has increased by US$50 billion within two years. ASEAN is now China's fifth largest export market and fourth largest trading partner.


Fu added that deepening bilateral trade and economic cooperation is speeding up implementation of the CAFTA. Of significance is the introduction of a tariff reduction program in July.


"With the introduction of the tariff reduction, the role of the expo in promoting trade and economic cooperation between China and ASEAN will be further enhanced, thereby attracting more businesses to participate in the expo, seek business opportunities, start investment cooperation and enjoy the real benefits of CAFTA," Fu said.


Visitors can expect catalogues of exhibits reflecting the actual trading status between China and ASEAN, and a "Cities of Charm" special promotion, among other activities.


The Second China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS), themed "China and ASEAN: Opening and Exploring the Market" will be held from October 19 to 20 during the expo.


The First China-ASEAN Expo held last year, also in Nanning, attracted 1,505 company representatives and over 20,000 individual participants and visitors. Deals worth a total of US$1.084 billion were made during the expo, including 129 foreign investment projects, which had a contractual value of US$4.968 billion.


(China.org.cn September 15, 2005)


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