The 14th China-ASEAN Expo opened Tuesday in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, highlighting trade and investment among China, ASEAN and other countries along the Belt and Road.
The expo, "Co-Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Promoting Regional Economic Integration through Tourism," is in Nanning, capital of Guangxi.
The four-day event attracted over 2,700 exhibitors, up 1.5 percent from the previous event, while the number of buyers is expected to exceed 10,000, including about 4,000 international buyers, according to Yang Yanyan from the expo secretariat.
The China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit also opened Tuesday.
The expo features 6,600 exhibition booths, an increase of 800 from the previous event. It includes 36 forums in fields such as industrial capacity cooperation, environmental protection, culture, transport and tourism.
A focus of this year's event is the Belt and Road Initiative, as a display area is dedicated to products from countries along the Belt and Road, such as Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. Kazakhstan took part in the expo with a delegation of more than 200 people, as the first country along the Silk Road Economic Belt that was invited as a special partner.
The expo has helped China-ASEAN trade. China has expanded its export of electronic products, construction materials, power equipment, construction machines, as well as technology in new energy, high-speed trains and agriculture, to ASEAN member states. The bloc's food, daily goods and bulk commodities are favored by Chinese buyers.
Previous events attracted 584,000 business people and more than 38,000 projects.
Bei Xianwen who started to sell Vietnamese shoes in China 16 years ago succeeded after the first China-ASEAN Expo in 2004.
"I sold only around 20,000 pairs of shoes in 2001. But the event helped me break the ice. Now I have more than 30 shops in Guangxi and sell more than 100,000 pairs a year," Bei said.
ASEAN is China's third-largest trading partner, while China is the association's largest trading partner. China-ASEAN trade reached 452.2 billion U.S. dollars last year and the volume hit 277 billion U.S. dollars from January to July this year.