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China-ASEAN trade to hit $1t by 2020

By Zheng Yiran | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-16 10:19

The total trade volume of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with China is projected to increase to $1 trillion by 2020, said AKP Mochtan, deputy secretary-general of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, at a seminar Monday.

The seminar on ASEAN Community Building and China-ASEAN Relations, aimed at boosting Sino-ASEAN relations, took place during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. The forum, hosted by the Mission of the People's Republic of China to ASEAN, Beijing Review and the Pangoal Institution, is to strengthen collaboration and cooperation between China and ASEAN through the media, promote the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and deepen China-ASEAN relations.

"The cooperation agreements and mechanisms formed between China and ASEAN in various areas in recent years have brought new opportunities for Sino-ASEAN relations. The visions of ASEAN correspond to China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, leading to common prosperity," said Mochtan.

As the sixth-largest economy in the world, ASEAN is now finalizing regional comprehensive economy partnerships with six free trade area counterparts, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India. This would add up to over half of the world's population, and in turn bring huge opportunities, he added.

Zhao Xiyuan, secretary-general of China Public Diplomacy Association, said that under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, there are boundless opportunities for China and ASEAN to tap into. "One of the flagship projects is the high-speed railway between Jakarta and Bandung, which is set to be built by Indonesian and Chinese companies."

"ASEAN's advantageous location and long trade ties with China have made it important for the Belt and Road Initiative. China will share opportunities and tackle challenges together with ASEAN to achieve common development and prosperity and become a community with a common destiny, sharing benefits and troubles alike," said Li Yafang, president of Beijing Review.

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