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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Sino-ASEAN trade likely to reach $400b

By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)

08:45, November 21, 2011

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei - China's trade volume with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is likely to reach $400 billion this year, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday.

Wen made the remarks during a speech at Universiti Brunei Darussalam upon his arrival in Brunei for an official visit, the first by a Chinese premier since the two nations established diplomatic ties two decades ago.

"The biggest breakthrough we made in those years (in economic cooperation with ASEAN nations) was the establishment of the free trade area," he said. Brunei is a member of the 10-nation regional bloc.

"That has led to the rapid development of trade between China and ASEAN, which is likely to reach $400 billion this year. That means the trade volume between China and ASEAN will surpass that between China and Japan."

According to official figures, trade between China and ASEAN reached $295.9 billion in the first 10 months of this year. China has become ASEAN's top trading partner, while ASEAN replaces Japan as China's third-largest trading partner.

Still, there is huge potential for Beijing to beef up its economic ties with ASEAN as deals with China only account for 11 percent of its overall trade, Wen added.

The premier also raised specified proposals to deepen economic ties with Brunei, including cooperation in offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as upstream and downstream energy cooperation.

Brunei is the third-largest oil exporter in Southeast Asia and the fourth-largest natural gas exporter in the world.

The Foreign Ministry said earlier that energy deals will be signed during the visit, without giving details.

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Leave your comment1 comments

  1. Name

helen at 2011-11-21203.82.92.*
Excellent!Please continue to expand economic co-operation with Asean and trade in non-US$. Economics is the language most understood by majority of Asean countries. The mutual benefit will transcend all other contradictions.

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