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ASEAN members likely to become China’s top trade partners
( chinadaily.com.cn )
Updated: 2013-05-29

Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will together become China’s top trading partners within the next three years, according to the secretary-general of the ASEAN-China Centre, which promotes ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture as well as the private sector.

Ma Mingqiang, , , who was speaking at a multimedia exhibition in the city of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday, said that the trade volume between China and ASEAN countries is expected to be the largest in the world in the next three years.

The multimedia exhibition was co-organized by the ASEAN-China Centre and Guangxi Normal University in Guilin city, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Ma predicted that ASEAN will overtake the United States and Europe as China’s largest trade partner.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN, and the trade amount between the two sides jumped from $55 billion in 2002 to $400 billion last year. China has been ASEAN’s top trade partner for ten years in a row while ASEAN ranks as China’s third largest trade partner.

Ma said that just as China’s opening up and reform policy brought many opportunities for ASEAN countries during the past 30 years, the rapid development in ASEAN member countries has also brought many opportunities for China.

Amid the global economic downturn, the trade volume between China and ASEAN shows an average growth of 20 percent a year, andMa said that the momentum of growth is faster than China’s trade with any other countries in the world.

Edited by Lin Hong and Niva Whyman

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