Business / Economy

Strengthened ties between China, ASEAN to boost growth: Envoy

By Fan Feifei ( Updated: 2015-09-21 09:54

China's Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Xu Bu said he has confidence in economic development and financial trend in China and ASEAN countries, despite the global economic downturn.

"Since the beginning of this year, the global economic recovery has been weak, and the economic growth in Southeast Asia has slowed down. Besides, China's economy is facing downward pressure," Xu said in an interview during the 12th China-ASEAN Expo held in Nanning, capital city of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

According to official data, Indonesia had the worst-performing economy since 2009, which grew by 4.67 percent in the first half of 2015. The Philippines saw an increase of 5.5 percent year-on-year, lower than the expected 6.6 percent, its lowest level in nearly three years, while the stock market in Singapore and Malaysia dropped to their three-year low.

"However, we should see that there are a number of positive factors benefiting the economic growth and financial stability in this region. The overall economic growth rate in ASEAN has remained at about 5 percent, and the internal investment in ASEAN reached $24.4 billion in 2014, taking up for 17 percent of total foreign investment. The growth situation of trade and investment is well," Xu said,

Furthermore, the financial situation in most ASEAN countries is generally stable, and the fluctuation of exchange rate and stock market is controllable, he added. Meanwhile, the governments in these countries have introduced several measures to promote development and keep growth steady, and the effect will continue to emerge.

"What's more important, the strengthened economic and financial cooperation between China and ASEAN will motivate growth."

Statistics showed that trade between China and ASEAN recorded a new high in 2014, totaling more than $480 billion. And the accumulated mutual investment between two sides has come up to $120 billion. It is expected that the bilateral trade volume will reach $1 trillion in 2020.

At the recently concluded 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries appealed to using the renminbi for payments. "It embodies the ASEAN countries wish to strengthen financial cooperation with China to guard against financial risks," Xu said.

In order to strengthen ties with ASEAN, China put forward a series of important proposals such as building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and a community with shared destiny, which has drawn positive response from ASEAN countries.

Xu expects China to strengthen communication and cooperation with ASEAN countries in trade and investment, interconnection and maritime cooperation, and continue to push forward the upgraded negotiation of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Moreover, in accordance with different requirements from ASEAN countries, China will carry out international capacity cooperation to promote economic complementary development and common revitalization.

"I believe as long as China joins hands with ASEAN countries, we are sure to overcome difficulties to achieve better development in this region," said Xu.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks