Seventh China-ASEAN Expo closes in south China, boosting FTA operations

09:00, October 25, 2010      

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The 7th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo has helped forge closer ties between China and ASEAN nations and promote the operation of China-ASEAN free trade area (CAFTA), an official with the organizing committee said Sunday.

The six-day event, which closed here Sunday in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, had been "productive" and "fruitful", said Chen Wu, Vice Co-chair and Secretary General of the China-ASEAN Expo Organizing Committee, and also Guangxi's Vice Governor.

"The Expo has reinforced the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, strengthened regional economic cooperation and facilitated the operation of the CAFTA," said Chen at the closing ceremony of the Expo.

This year's Expo is the first one since the establishment of the much-anticipated CAFTA, which was formally launched on Jan.1, 2010.

With a population of 1.9 billion people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 6 trillion U.S. dollars, CAFTA ranks as the world's third largest trade zone following the North American FTA and the European FTA.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, trade deals signed at this year's expo were worth 1.71 billion U.S. dollars, up 3.5 percent from last year's event, while a total of 135 cross-border economic cooperation projects had been signed with investment up 3 percent from the 6th Expo to 6.69 billion U.S. dollars, he said.

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