|Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping addresses the opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and Forum on China-ASEAN Free Trade Area in Nanning, capital of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 21, 2012. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said in Nanning Friday that China and the ASEAN have always been committed to mutually-beneficial development, resulting in growing gains in trade and economic cooperation.
When addressing the opening ceremony of the 9th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in this capital city of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xi said two-way trade between China and the ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) surged from 7 billion U.S. dollars in the early days of dialogue relations to 362.8 billion last year, registering an average annual growth of over 20 percent.
Xi said since China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was launched in 2010, bilateral win-win cooperation in the economy and trade has displayed even greater vitality. He said China has been the ASEAN's largest trading partner for three consecutive years and the ASEAN has become China's third largest trading partner.
"We are also each other's major partners of investment, with two-way investment growing steadily," Xi said, noting that as of July this year, investment between the two sides had totaled nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars.
Xi pointed out that China has provided financial support to the ASEAN to the best of its abilities by setting up the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund and making concessional loans, facilitating economic development in ASEAN countries.
"We are always committed to common development and steadily improving cooperation mechanisms in various fields," Xi said, adding that the expansion and deepening of China-ASEAN business cooperation requires bilateral cooperation in other areas.
Xi said at present, the two sides have successfully completed the first five-year plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity and they are conducting mutually-beneficial cooperation in over 20 areas.
Xi said China and the ASEAN have developed a pattern of comprehensive, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation by setting up 12 ministerial meeting mechanisms, establishing the China-ASEAN Expo, China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, ASEAN-China Center, China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center, China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week and other cooperation platforms.