ASEAN, China boost trade links

Friday, Aug 28, 2020 15:34

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh chairs the meeting between Economic ministers from ASEAN member countries and representatives from China’s Ministry of Commerce. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

Economic ministers from ASEAN member countries held a meeting with representatives from China’s Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

This 19th consultation took place within the framework of the AEM-52 and related meetings in the form of a teleconference.

The two sides shared the view that China has been ASEAN’s largest trade partner since 2009, with total trade value amounting to US$507.9 billion last year, or 18 per cent of the bloc’s total trade.

Chinese FDI in ASEAN reached about $9.1 trillion last year, accounting for 5.7 per cent of total FDI injected into the bloc.

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-China comprehensive economic ties, with the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area put into operation.

Delegates reached consensus on the next steps to deal with shortcomings in the cooperative programme.

They said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement has remained the top priority of ASEAN, and negotiations on trade liberalisation and more intensive and extensive investment will be carried out only after the deal is signed.

The ministers also stressed the significance of joint efforts in enhancing cooperation in order to promote trade and investment, towards post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

They, therefore, applauded the joint statement on boosting cooperation within the free trade agreement as well as in the fight against the pandemic. — VNS

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