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Background of China ASEAN Expo
   2014-09-11 12:55:16    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo

ASEAN is made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

With a population of 1.9 billion, CAFTA is the world's third largest FTA -- after the North American FTA and the European FTA -- in terms of trade volume.

Under the CAFTA accord, the average tariff on goods from ASEAN countries to China was cut down to 0.1 percent from 9.8 percent. The six original ASEAN members (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) slashed the average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent.

China-ASEAN trade surged 37.5 percent year-on-year to 292.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, almost 37 times the amount in 1991, when China and ASEAN established dialogue relations, according to customs figures.

The two sides aim to increase annual bilateral trade to 500 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.

In the first nine months of this year, ASEAN surpassed Japan to become China's third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade totaling 267 billion U.S. dollars, up 26.4 percent year-on-year.

The China-ASEAN Expo was initiated by Wen at the 7th China-ASEAN summit in 2003 in order to promote the establishment of CAFTA and common prosperity.

The first four-day expo was held in 2004 in Nanning, which became the permanent venue for the event. It drew 18,000 exhibitors and visitors from home and abroad and saw a trade volume of 1 billion U.S. dollars.

The event, along with a China-ASEAN investment summit and promotional conferences, covered machinery, home appliance, information technology, construction materials, medicine and textile sectors.

The second expo attracted 25,000 exhibitors and visitors and saw a trade volume of 1.15 billion U.S. dollars. A total of 126 international investment cooperation projects worth 5.29 billion U.S. dollars were contracted during the second expo.

Wen attended the third expo, which attracted almost 40,000 exhibitors. A total of 132 international investment cooperation projects worth 5.85 billion U.S. dollars were contracted, up 10.5 percent over the previous year.

At the fourth expo, 182 international investment cooperation projects worth 6.15 billion U.S. dollars were contracted, up 5.3 percent over the previous year.

The fifth expo in 2008 was held amid the global financial crisis, when regional cooperation was vital for recovery. Trade volume hit 6.52 billion U.S. dollars and total business turnover reached almost 1.6 billion U.S. dollars, up 12 percent.

At the sixth expo, a total of 136 cross-border cooperation projects were signed, with a combined value of 6.44 billion U.S. dollars, up 1.19 percent from the previous expo. It was extended to five days to meet the demands of exhibitors and visitors.

The seventh expo saw trade volume rise 3.5 percent from the previous expo to 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, while international cooperation projects worth 6.69 billion U.S. dollars were signed, up 3 percent from a year earlier.

During the previous seven expos, combined trade volume reached 9.9 billion U.S. dollars and the value of cooperative projects signed at the expos totaled 41.8 billion U.S. dollars.

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