Looking back at The 16th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) at Nanning International Convention & Exhibition Center successful end, it is committed to the key cooperation arenas between China and the ASEAN members, further enhancing the pragmatic international trade and economic exchanges.

Seven exclusive ASEAN-country pavilions, 33 spectacular forums, together with over 90 trade and investment promotion activities, attracted more than 10,000 professional audiences to attend and seek business opportunities. In short, the CAEXPO has secured another bumper harvest season again.

China-ASEAN Trade & Economic Cooperation Gained Fruitful Results 

International trade is the foundation of China-ASEAN win-win cooperation. As an annual high-level trade and economic cooperation event, the CAEXPO has seen favourable outcomes in China-ASEAN open and inclusive cooperation guided by the principles of mutual-beneficial, win-win, and prosperous development.

Thomas Trikasih Lembong, Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said in an interview that the CAEXPO was a very important platform for international trade cooperation and has greatly stimulated the trade cooperation between China and ASEAN countries. 

It is understood that 122 sourcing groups and over 12,000 organised professional participants took part in the 16th CAEXPO, up by 8.9% and 10% respectively than the previous session. The 90+ investment promotion events further amplified the pragmatic achievements on trade and economic collaboration. 

The commodity trade volume saw a dynamic growing momentum by the active participation from business communities at home and abroad. Food, beverage, household and consumer goods from ASEAN countries, as well as construction machinery, food packaging machinery, smart energy and electricity, and building materials made in China have actualised sizeable turnover. 

In the meantime, the contracted investment projects have been greatly improved quantitatively and qualitatively. Major projects signed at the CAEXPO covered 5G, big data analysis, industrial internet, pharmaceutical R&D, intelligent manufacturing, smart city, etc., involving countries like Germany and Indonesia, as well as domestic provinces, regions and cities such as Guangdong, Beijing, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Shandong, etc., fully certifying the CAEXPO’s role as important China-ASEAN platform for openness and inclusive collaboration.

Among which, China Power Investment Corporation reached agreements on hydropower projects with Indonesian enterprises, equivalent to nearly US$1 billion in value. 

Belt & Road Obtained Remarkable Outcomes in Trade & Economic Cooperation 

In July 2019, ASEAN and China agreed on the synergy movement between the Belt & Road Initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025. The strategic integration has opened up a broader space for international trade and economic cooperation in this region. 

More and more enterprises along the Belt & Road have invested in the vast market provided by China and ASEAN members, gaining new business opportunities. It is believed that 131 enterprises out of 20 Belt-and-Road countries exhibited at the dedicated Belt-and-Road International Exhibition Area, 59% greater in size over the previous year. 

The commodities produced by the Belt and Road countries demonstrated their unique characteristics in the CAEXPO. South Korea, for the first time, concentrated on beauty and skin care products. Poland, Italy, Pakistan, Egypt, Ghana, Russia, Sri Lanka and other countries along the route also highlighted their own advantageous commodities. 

As the invest-in-China enthusiasm of the Belt & Road enterprises kept surging, it fuelled greater vitality and motivation to CAEXPO’s future economic and trade advancement. In addition, Poland made a splendid debut as CAEXPO’s first European partner.

During the CAEXPO, Polish specialities such as food as well as agricultural, handicraft and service products were highly recognised by purchasers from China and ASEAN member countries.

Events like promotional seminars, national exhibitions and a China-Poland round-table for entrepreneurs were wrapped up with great success. The Polish entrepreneurs showed great interest in strengthening cooperation with China and ASEAN. Business negotiations and cooperation in trade, investment, machinery manufacturing, forestry, etc. were conducted concurrently.

Major Cooperative Mechanisms & Project Construction Took Larger Strides  

2019 marks the beginning for the full implementation of the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030. Closely attaching to the current cooperation hot spots between China and ASEAN, the CAEXPO has further promoted the formation of major cooperation mechanisms and project development. 

The provinces, regions and municipalities along the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor participated in themed trade and investment seminars and reached written agreements with one another. The first China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone exhibition was held in this CAEXPO, accompanied by the first promotional seminar and investment cooperation meeting related to the pilot free trade zone.

The China-ASEAN Summit Forum on Financial Cooperation and Development & Building Up the Open Financial Door to ASEAN Summit centred its focus and reached new consensus on infrastructure investment and financing, cross-border RMB settlement, and others.

Through exhibitions and a series of professional match-making activities, the regional cooperation between the Greater Bay Area and surrounding regions was promoted further, influencing the entire Southeast Asia. China-ASEAN E-Commerce Forum, China-ASEAN Artificial Intelligence Summit & China-ASEAN Information Harbour Partnership Signing Ceremony were successfully held to push forward the digital economic cooperation in this region. 

Meanwhile, under the framework of CAEXPO, 33 high-level forums involving production cooperation, e-commerce, science and technology were carried out. Through multi-level exchanges in diversified fields, additional cooperation mechanisms have been established and the “Nanning Channel” has been enhanced.

For example, the China-Malaysia Production Capacity and Investment Cooperation Forum propelled the cultivation of cooperative mechanism on production capacity and the construction of “two countries, two industrial parks”. The China-ASEAN Port-City Cooperation Network Workshop prioritised the new land-sea corridor, enriching the China-ASEAN maritime connectivity. 

Favourable Climate for Private Sector was Cultivated 

With the continuous advancement of the Belt and Road construction and the upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the cooperative prospects between China and ASEAN private enterprises are embracing tremendous business opportunities. Leong Yap Ter, chairman of Sunsuria Bhd of Malaysia, pointed out that the private sector is an indispensable force in regional trade and economic cooperation.

Building higher level exchange and cooperation platforms and cultivating favourable environment for private sector were at under the spotlight at this CAEXPO. 

The private-sector-oriented events such as the first China-ASEAN Private Entrepreneurs Summit and China-ASEAN Private Entrepreneurial Leaders Salon were carried out with success, offering a broad stage for private enterprises in this region to materialise their ambitions in the new era. 

Lei Jun, Chairman of Xiaomi, addressed the audience at the opening ceremony that taking the CAEXPO platform, the in-dept. exchanges between private sectors of China and ASEAN members given the complex international environment is of significance for future collaboration on private investments. 

In a bid to strengthen business exchanges and cooperation and innovate development services, the first CAEXPO Supporting Chambers of Commerce Joint Conference recorded a complete success with the establishment of a regular meeting mechanisms. Apart from that, a 500-participant Sino-foreign entrepreneurial exchange meeting was held to strengthen the ties of the business circles from various countries.

The publication of the first blue book of the CAEXPO, the Report on ASEAN Industrial Parks Development under the Background of China-ASEAN International Cooperation on Production Capacity, was praised as an innovation to extend CAEXPO’s value chain and service upgrade for the business community. 

Despite the tides surging and dashing, we shall seize the moment and deliver without hesitation. The 16 year-old CAEXPO has not only bolstered the rapid development of China-ASEAN trade and economic cooperation but also witnessed the ascending China-ASEAN strategic partnership. Taking the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 as the blueprint and the CAEXPO as the bridge, we look forward to the next harvest season of China-ASEAN Cooperation.

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