Nanning, China, 27 October 2011

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After six days of showcasing the best of both regions, the 8th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the 8th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) concluded yesterday with the presentation of Awards to exhibitors, and the handover of the Country of Honour from Malaysia to Myanmar, which will serve as the Country of Honour of the 9th CAEXPO next year.

The 8th CAEXPO and CABIS are part of the commemorative programmes marking the 20th Anniversary of China – ASEAN relations, as well as one year of the CAFTA and the China-ASEAN Friendship Year. A total of 4,700 booths were constructed from both China and ASEAN Countries, with a total participation of 203,000 visitors including 55,000 trade exhibitors; an increase of 4.6% from the 7th CAEXPO held in 2010. The Expo ended with a total trade volume of USD$1.8 billion and 105 projects signed, an increase of 5.6% and 10.6%, respectively.

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CAEXPO, which has been regularly held since 2004, have sought to elevate friendly political and economic ties between China and the ASEAN Countries, accelerate the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) relations and promote cooperation in various fields, explained Mr. Zhang; Secretary General of the CAEXPO Secretariat, in his briefing at the press conference. With the establishment of 5 pavilions in commodity trade, investment cooperation, advanced technology, trade in services, and cities of charms, the Expo serves as an increasingly important platform to boost imports and exports, investment, and cultural exchanges between the two regions.

In line with the theme of the 8th CAEXPO; ‘Environment Protection Cooperation’, the leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in the following areas; environment promotion, green technology and investment. Premier Wen Jiabao in his speech at the 8th CABIS opening ceremony outlined 5 proposed areas to deepen trade and investment cooperation between China and ASEAN, namely:

1. Enhance the implementation of ACFTA;

2. Promote Connectivity;

3. Increase Investment;

4. Deepen Economic and Regional Cooperation; and

5. Enhance cooperation in culture, tourism, education and youth affairs.

Several concurrent events were held to further enhance cooperation and create business opportunities between the two regions which among others includes; the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Forum, the 1st China-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on TBT, the 8th CAEXPO Roundtable Meeting on Investment Cooperation, and the Inauguration of the China-ASEAN Plaza.

The 9th CAEXPO will be held from 19-24 October 2012, with the theme ‘Science and Technology Cooperation’.