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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Industry-specific cooperation a priority for China, ASEAN

By Zhao Shan (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:27, January 17, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The trade volume between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) totaled nearly 362.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up nearly 24 percent from the previous year, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs.

Last year, ASEAN became China's third largest trading partner and top investment destination for the first time, and China remained ASEAN's largest trading partner.

China and ASEAN must strengthen cooperation to achieve common development amid uncertainties in 2012. Xu Ningning, deputy secretary-general of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said that the two sides will continue win-win cooperation through the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area this year. After eliminating tariffs, the two sides are faced with an urgent task of strengthening the cooperation between the industries and companies of both sides.

The bilateral industry-specific cooperation can integrate innovative and pragmatic win-win cooperation, and is of great strategic significance. Industry-specific cooperation can help build new mutually complementary industry chains in open markets, and benefit both sides. Overall, bilateral industry-specific cooperation is crucial to increasing the vitality and competitiveness of the free trade area, said Xu.

Furthermore, China should further open its market to ASEAN, which is eager to benefit from the huge Chinese market. The country should also reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain products as soon as possible, or unilaterally implement temporary tariff cuts.

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