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Chinese vice premier: Pan Beibu Gulf economic co-op to help regional growth
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14:58, October 28, 2007

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Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said on Sunday that implementing the strategic idea of Pan Beibu Gulf economic cooperation involving China and Southeast Asia is conducive to forming new poles of economic growth in the region.

"The two sides should explore in depth related issues concerning Pan Beibu Gulf economic cooperation," said Zeng at the opening of the Fourth China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business and Investment Summit in the southern China city of Nanning.

The Beibu Gulf economic belt is an area surrounded by south China's Guangdong and Hainan provinces and Guangxi, as well as the six ASEAN members of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei.

The 10-nation ASEAN also groups Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. China aims to establish free trade zones with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand by 2010. Free trade zones with Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar are expected to be in place by 2015.

Zeng said China supports the integration of the ASEAN and encourages Chinese enterprises to participate in subregional economic cooperation in the growing area in eastern ASEAN and the Greater Mekong River area.

To ensure subregional cooperation to become a new area of China-ASEAN trade and economic cooperation, the two sides should establish governmental coordination mechanism and expert panels to study the formulation of cooperation plans, strengthen infrastructure construction, and improve customs service, quarantine and business visa service, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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