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China, ASEAN to upgrade economic cooperation

Updated: 2013-09-03 15:17
( Xinhua)

NANNING -- Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for an "upgraded version" of the free trade area (FTA) between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), pledging economic and trade cooperation of "a greater scope and higher quality".

Li made the remarks during a keynote speech at the tenth China-ASEAN Expo, which runs from Tuesday to Friday in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

China and ASEAN could have discussions about further lowering tariffs, cutting non-tariff measures, holding talks on a new round of service trade commitments, and promoting openness in the area of investment, Li said.

China is willing to sign long-term trade agreements with ASEAN members on agricultural products and expand imports from ASEAN, Li said, adding that China expects the bilateral trade volume to hit $1 trillion by 2020.

China is also willing to join hands with ASEAN to advance talks of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and discuss exchanges and interactions with frameworks including Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

Li also called for further cooperation in areas of transportation, telecommunications and energy, as well as to enhance economic and financial cooperation between China and ASEAN.