.contact us |.about us
News > National News...
ASEAN's seeds may be reaped
( 2003-12-18 09:11) (China Daily by Dai Zi)

An "early harvest" plan will kick off January 1 next year before the Free Trade Area between China and members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) goes into effect in 2010.

The plan, which affects more than 500 mostly agricultural products, will allow ASEAN members to reap early benefits through tariff reductions, according to An Min, vice-minister of commerce.

Tariff rates on those products will gradually drop to zero by 2006, An said.

The plan, coupled with a China-ASEAN Expo that will debut in Nanning of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region next November, will contribute to a smooth transition towards the China-ASEAN free trade area (FTA).

Leaders from China and ASEAN members decided to hold the Expo during a summit in Bali in October. It will be held annually.

According to An, the China-ASEAN Trade Negotiation Committee has held four meetings this year and set up three working groups to govern rules of origin, trade of goods and trade of services.

"Negotiations go smoothly and the FTA will put it in place as scheduled," An said.

In the first 10 months of this year, foreign trade volume between China and ASEAN members reached US$62.6 billion, rising 44.1 per cent year-on-year.

The number for last year, which marked a new record, was US$54.8 billion.

Trade volume is expected to reach US$100 billion in 2005.

ASEAN has been China's fifth largest trading partner for 10 years, and become the fourth largest supplier for China.

An said it may be possible, at first, to set up a free trade area with a single ASEAN member when negotiations are concluded on June 30 next year.

Some more developed countries in ASEAN, like Singapore, want to set up free trade areas with China as early as possible.

Lu Bing, acting governor of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said the China-ASEAN Expo will create a platform for goods and projects from both sides.

Guangxi is the only province in China enjoying both a land and sea connection with ASEAN.

Other regions close to ASEAN countries are also eager to reap benefits from the potential opportunities free trade will create.

In October, China joined the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia as the first non-Southeast-Asian country and set up a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity with ASEAN.

The China-ASEAN FTA will be the world's largest, with 1.7 billion consumers and a combined gross domestic product of US$2 trillion.

  Today's Top News   Top National News
+Taiwan reports new case of SARS
( 2003-12-17)
+Masterminds of Japanese orgy in Zhuhai get life
( 2003-12-17)
+President urges boost for farmers' incomes
( 2003-12-17)
+Beijing stresses 3-links policy
( 2003-12-17)
+3,000 Chinese farmers to farm abroad
( 2003-12-17)
+Car auctions weed out smokers
( 2003-12-18)
+CEPA to benefit more professionals
( 2003-12-18)
+ASEAN's seeds may be reaped
( 2003-12-18)
+Statistics back China's growth
( 2003-12-18)
+President urges boost for farmers' incomes
( 2003-12-17)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved