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Brunei sees ASEAN, China grow side by side

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-24 14:30

In 1997, China and ASEAN joined effort to cope with the Asian financial crisis. China's insistence on not devaluing its currency- renminbi helped safeguard economic and financial stability in the region as a whole.

Four years later, the 7th ASEAN Summit and the three "ASEAN+1" Summits were held in Brunei's capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. In a press statement issued after the meetings, the ASEAN noted that China has been an important partner of ASEAN over the past decade, and its accession to the World Trade Organization will create market opportunities for both ASEAN and China. ASEAN also expressed deep gratitude for China's support in efforts to recover from the Asian financial crisis.

At the fifth China-ASEAN Summit in November 2001, the two parties reached an agreement on creating a China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) in 10 years. The year 2001 witnessed the bilateral trade between China and ASEAN reaching $41.62 billion.

The China-ASEAN FTA, fully established in 2010 as scheduled, has played a major role in promoting bilateral trade and economic cooperation. At present, China is the largest trading partner of ASEAN while ASEAN is China's third largest trading partner.

Their bilateral trade in 2011 exceeded $400 billion and the two sides have set a target of $500 billion for the year 2015.

This year, ASEAN and China are set to co-host a number of practical activities to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their strategic partnership.

Only a half-century ago, Southeast Asia was an impoverished corner of the world. Today, it is one of the engines propelling global recovery from economic slowdown. It is the one of miracles Brunei has witnessed.

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