NANNING -- The third China-ASEAN Expo, an annual event aiming at boosting
economic ties between China and ASEAN countries, opened Tuesday in Nanning,
capital of south China 's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks at
the opening of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit at the Liyuan
Resort in the southern Chinese city of Nanning, Guangxi region, southern
China. Chinese and Southeast Asian leaders have vowed at a summit in
Nanning to speed up creation of a free trade zone, while also discussing
the North Korean nuclear crisis and regional political concerns. [AFP]
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and leaders from ten ASEAN ( Association of
Southeast Asian Nations) countries attended the opening ceremony of the
Premier Wen said at the opening ceremony that the Expo demonstrates the
common aspiration of China and ASEAN to grasp opportunities for cooperation, and
serves as a platform to push forward the trade, investment and tourism
He said China will continue to work with ASEAN to enhance regional
The past 15 years have witnessed enhanced mutual trust and expanded economic
and trade exchange between China and ASEAN, and China's rapid economic
development will create more opportunities for bilateral cooperation, he said.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Philippines, said in her openning
remarks that she took pride in ASEAN's role in helping China integrate its
economy and become an economic powerhouse.
The ASEAN-China relations is at "golden age", and the ASEAN- China
partnership is one of the most "dynamic and progressive" relations in east Asian
region, she said.
ASEAN and China will continue to promote confidence-building measures,
intensify interaction and steer the bilateral relations and cooperation for
mutual benefit, she said .
Arroyo said trade of ASEAN countries is surging with China.
"The China-ASEAN Expo is a good example of what we should be doing," she
said, believing trade with China will reduce ASEAN countries' dependence for
export on western markets.
She said ASEAN countries expect to see more investment from China. "We are
seeing more Chinese investment in ASEAN, and we hope to see more."
At the Expo, she said, the ASEAN businessmen are looking not only for
products to bring home, but also for industries where Chinese and ASEAN
manufacturers can collaborate to produce for ASEAN market and for the rest of
The Expo is jointly sponsored by the Commerce Ministry of China, the trade
and economic authorities of ten ASEAN members and the ASEAN Secretariat, with
the participation of about 2,100 companies.
This is the first time for leaders of China and ten ASEAN member countries to
meet in China. They attended a China-ASEAN commemorative summit Monday and
signed a joint statement, cementing strategic partnership.