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ASEAN encourages trade expansion with China


09:43, November 20, 2012

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Trade between ASEAN and China is set to continue its expansion with the bloc's largest trade partner encouraged to step up investment in the region.

Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan told media here Monday on the side- lines of the 21st ASEAN summit that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China was "working wonderfully."

He pointed out that trade had grown by 25 percent because of the FTA and is expected to increase in 2013.

"We are hoping for more investment from China. Even though trade has grown tremendously, the trade deficit and trade gap between ASEAN and China is larger than in some other regions," he said.

Dr. Pitsuwan noted that at present there is a large gap between Chinese trade and Chinese investment in ASEAN. "We hope the new Chinese leadership will continue encouraging trade with ASEAN even as China opens up its market," he added.

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