ASEAN, China urged to deepen economic, trade ties

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-8 21:43:37

ASEAN and China need to deepen economic and trade ties in order to narrow differences and increase cooperation towards building a more stable, peaceful and prosperous region, Cambodian experts said.

"The economic and trade ties between China and ASEAN are interdependent," Ros Chantraboth, personal advisor to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, told Xinhua in an interview on Monday. " Deepening economic and trade ties between the two sides will not only benefit the people, but also reduce tension in the sea dispute."

He said that China should increase business presence in Southeast Asian nations with more investment so that Chinese companies and their counterparts in ASEAN countries would be easy to seek partnership and cooperation, which is an effective means to spur economic and trade activities.

"By doing so, I believe that ASEAN-China ties will get closer," he said.

Sok Touch, deputy director general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia's International Relations Institute, said it was essential for both sides to further build confidence and promote mutual trust in order to avoid suspicion and misunderstanding.

"With mutual trust, both sides will be able to deepen ties in all fields including politics, economics and trade," he told Xinhua.

He said China should increase investment in ASEAN countries, rather than importing raw materials from those countries and exporting finished products.

Chheang Vannarith, a lecturer of Asia Pacific Studies at University of Leeds in Britain, said that it was necessary to upgrade China-ASEAN Free Trade Area to a new level to deepen economic and trade relations.

"It needs to further simplify the rules of origin, reduce non- tariff trade barriers, facilitate the flow of capital, connect international trade and investment with poverty reduction and narrow development gap, and support export capacity of the less developed economies," he said.

He said regional interconnectivity project would be vital to enhance regional economic and business competitiveness through cost reduction and market expansion.

"Infrastructure connectivity has not yet been realized since there are missing links in the region. When it comes to fruition, it will be of benefit to both people in China and ASEAN," he said.

He added the close economic and trade relations would help reduce tension in the South China Sea.

He said the countries in the South China Sea dispute should jointly develop maritime resources. However, the question was how to have a fair and acceptable share from such joint development projects.

Posted in: Diplomacy, Economy

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