The 15th China-Asean Expo and the concurrent China-Asean Business and Investment Summit, which concluded last Saturday in Nanning, capital city of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has seen constant growth according to Asean and Chinese officials.
The event was co-sponsored by the ministries of commerce of the 10 Asean member states as well as the Asean Secretariat along with the department of industry and trade of China.
According to Asean and Chinese officials, the Expo saw annual growth and has now turned into a special international event which has led to the promotion and enhancing of China-Asean cooperation as well as in building the Maritime Silk Road.
Cambodia was the “Country of Honour” at the Expo this year and Prime Minister Hun Sen, officiating at the opening ceremony said hosting this year’s expo provided Asean countries and guest nations such as Tanzania, the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas on how to strengthen and expand trade and investment.
“In addition, it also provided an opportunity and space for some 2,780 firms from a number of countries, including those from Asean to participate in the four-day event.
“A total of 91 trade and investment promotion activities were being held among China, Asean and countries along the Belt and Road,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen added this is the 11th time he led Cambodia’s delegation and participants to the expo and this continued participation show-cased the high level of attention the government has given to Cambodia-China relations in particular and to China-Asean relations in general.
“The China-Asean Expo has provided enormous benefits to the region, and Cambodia benefited a lot of from the show which reflected through increases in trade, investment, and tourism between Cambodia and China,” said the Prime Minister.
Almost 100 Cambodian companies had their products, and services displayed in 150 booths at the expo.
In addition to the trade expo and exhibition, Cambodia also organised the 3rd Cambodia-China Trade and Investment Forum, the Forum on “Business and Investment Opportunities in Cambodia” and held several MoU signing ceremonies as well as trade matching programmes.
During his meeting with Mr Hun Sen on the sidelines of the expo, Chinese vice-premier Han Zhengan congratulated Cambodia on becoming the featured country at the event.
“Leaders of our two countries have met many times in recent years, and have reached consensus on inheriting and carrying forward the traditional friendship between the two countries.
“We should take full advantage of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries to intensify high-level exchanges, speed up the synergy of development strategies, jointly build the Belt and Road, expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields, solidify friendly public opinions, and make joint efforts to build a community of strategic importance,” Mr. Han said.
Wang Lei, secretary-general of the China-Asean Expo Secretariat, said Chinese and foreign exhibitors, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, showcased their products in 6,600 booths that covered an area of 124,000 square meters.
“The agricultural products, consumer goods, light industrial arts and crafts of Asean countries as well as China’s engineering machinery, food packaging and power equipment were favored by buyers from 70 countries and regions,” Mr Wang said.
“Buyers from Europe, Africa and South America showed great interest in food and agricultural products from China and Asean,” Mr Wang added.
Besides, 114 firms from 19 countries along the Belt and Road displayed various featured goods of their respective countries.
Mr Wang said the 16th China-Asean Expo is primarily scheduled to be held in Nanning on Sept 20-23, 2019, with Indonesia as the ‘Country of Honor’.