FTA boosts China-ASEAN H1 trade by 55 pct

16:33, July 26, 2010      

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Trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) surged 55 percent in the first half of this year to reach 136.5 billion U.S. dollars boosted by an agreement to expand bilateral trade, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), officials say.

China's trade with the ASEAN also outgrew the country's total foreign trade by 11 percentage points for the same period, Gao Hucheng, China's vice minister of commerce, said Monday at a press conference held in Beijing.

China's imports from ASEAN countries hit 71.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first half, up 64 percent year on year, while exports to them from China grew 45 percent to 64.6 billion U.S. dollars, Gao said.

China's non-financial direct investment in ASEAN member states neared 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in the first half while investment from ASEAN countries in China reached 3.1 billion U.S. dollars, Gao said.

As of the end of June, aggregate bilateral investment reached 69.4 billion U.S. dollars, he said.

Gao said the global financial crisis had not affected the progress of CAFTA which seeks to expand bilateral trade by slashing tariffs.

"The creation of the CAFTA shows China and ASEAN countries' confidence and determination to fight the financial crisis together, by promoting trade and investment liberalization," said Gao.

"The establishment of CAFTA has also pushed the China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a higher level, and has helped the global economy," Gao said.

An event to expand trade cooperation, the 7th China-ASEAN Expo will be held in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, from Oct. 20 to 24 this year

So far, 4,522 booths have been booked by exhibitors from both home and abroad, Chen Wu, vice chairman of Guangxi regional government said at the press conference.



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