Jakarta, 26 May 2011

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The Deputy Secretary General of Municipal Government of Zhengzhou, Henan Province, Mr. Song Baisong and together with their respective delegations paid a visit to the ASEAN Secretariat to brief on the 17th Zhengzhou National Commodity Fair and Consumer Goods Expo on 16-18 September 2011. The delegations were received by the Director of Market Integration Directorate of the ASEAN Secretariat, Mr. Subash Bose Pillai.

Mr. Song Baisong underlined that as part of strengthening ASEAN-China economic cooperation particularly intensifying cooperation between ASEAN and the Henan province, the 17th Zhengzhou National Commodity Fair and Consumer Goods Expo will be held in city of Zhengzhou on 16-18 September 2011. He invited the private sector from the ASEAN Member States to participate in the three-day expo which will exhibit consumer products, electronics and electrical items, jewelry, foodstuffs and commodities from both ASEAN and China.

Mr. Subash highlighted the ASEAN-China the improving economic performance and relations over the past year where China has now become ASEAN’s largest trading partner including as an export market and import source. Looking to great potentials to enhance ASEAN-China economic cooperation and considering the fact of Henan being centrally located in China and as the birthplace of the Chinese civilization, Henan could act as a central-hub in connecting ASEAN to the rest of China.

According to ASEAN’s preliminary trade figures in 2010, ASEAN’s exports to China increased by 37.9%, from US$ 81.6 billion in 2009 to US$112.5 billion in 2010, moving up a notch to be ASEAN’s second largest export destination. Imports rose by 27.5% from US$96.6 billion in 2009 to US$123.2 billion in 2010. Total trade between ASEAN and China exceeded the pre-crisis level of US$171.1 in 2007 and US$196.9 billion in 2008. China maintained its position as ASEAN’s largest trading partner accounting for 11.6% of ASEAN’s total trade. ASEAN is China’s 4th largest trading partner accounting for 9.7% of China’s total trade.

Based on information from the China-ASEAN Business Council Chinese Secretariat, Zhengzhou experienced sustained and rapid economic growth in 2006 with total trade reached US$ 443 million from US$ 185 million in total exports and US$ 258 in total imports. Zhengzhou’s export commodities include garments, coal, automobiles and foodstuffs.

The delegation has already visited Thailand and Malaysia, and while in Jakarta will also be promoting the event to the private sector in these countries. A separate delegation will also be making similar visits to promote the event in the other ASEAN Member States.