China-ASEAN Expo sees record investment deals signed
Published: Sep 19, 2022 09:49 PM
RCEP Photo: Xinhua

RCEP Photo: Xinhua

China-ASEAN cooperation found new development opportunities during the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), the first time the annual event is being held since the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) took effect, as the value of signed projects hit a record high and the "friend-circle" expanded, an expo official said at the closing ceremony on Monday.

Wei Zhaohui, secretary general of the CAEXPO Secretariat, said that 267 international and domestic cooperation projects were signed at the event this year, with a total investment value of more than 400 billion yuan ($57 billion).

The exhibition area reached 102,000 square meters, of which foreign exhibitions accounted for 30 percent, basically restored to the pre-pandemic level, Wei said.

A total of 1,653 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions took part in the event, an increase of 10 percent over the previous session.

"All figures showed the growing confidence of the Chinese and ASEAN business communities in expanding markets and accelerating regional economic recovery through the CAEXPO amid new opportunities," Wei noted.

Wu Juan, deputy secretary general of the expo, said that this year coincided with the 10th anniversary of the construction of two industrial parks jointly built by China and Malaysia. 

The roundtable dialogue between the Malaysian government and the CEOs of Chinese enterprises at the event has effectively promoted the construction of key cooperation projects totaling $17 billion in the fields of energy, infrastructure, industrial parks and electronic information, injecting new momentum into China-Malaysia cooperation, Wu said.

Wei added that services enterprises from ASEAN in the fields of aviation and tourism negotiated with Chinese businessmen to develop new cooperation projects to speed up economic recovery from the pandemic.

During the eye-catching expo, China's smart equipment, green home appliances and lighting technology products gained favor with ASEAN buyers. Food and beverages, tropical fruits and household products from ASEAN were popular among Chinese customers.

"The expo also had an expanding friend-circle this year, with diplomatic envoys from 18 countries including the 10 ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the US attending," Wei noted.

It is believed that the expo, as an important platform to deepen China-ASEAN cooperation and promote regional economic integration, will add new momentum and provide new opportunities to promote sustainable recovery after the pandemic and build an open regional economy, China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

In the first eight months of this year, total China-ASEAN trade hit 4.09 trillion yuan, an increase of 14 percent, accounting for 15 percent of China's total foreign trade.

Trade with the other 14 members of the RCEP increased 7.5 percent year-on-year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.

Global Times