China seeks special trade zones in Asean

The Chinese government will continue to encourage major Chinese enterprises to invest in Asean countries while at the same time try to establish an economic and trade cooperation zone in each of the Asean countries within five years.

With the support of Asean countries’ governments, Beijing believes economic and trade cooperation zones can provide platforms for Chinese enterprises to establish manufacturing clusters, says Zhang Yingxin, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Commerce of China.

The China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO), which has been held annually for seven years and continues to grow, has become an important platform for two-way investment, especially for Chinese enterprises, said Ms Zhang.

However, CAEXPO participants on both sides have observed that compared with trade-promotion mechanisms, investment promotion measures so far have been less effective.

As a result, Asean and Chinese investment promotion agencies have decided to join hands to help enterprises further explore markets in other countries. Investment cooperation will be a highlight at the eighth CAEXPO, which will be held in at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Guangxi from Oct 21-26.

Senior officials from the investment promotion agencies of the 10 Asean countries and their counterparts from China met recently and decided to jointly build CAEXPO as a prime platform for bilateral investment cooperation.

All the participants believe that CAEXPO can serve as an all-in-one platform for commodity trade, investment cooperation and trade in services.

The officials confirmed tentatively that a roundtable meeting on investment cooperation will be held during each of the CAEXPO events starting from this year.

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