China to promote building of 3.0-version China-ASEAN Free Trade Area

Updated: August 30, 2022 Source: Belt and Road Portal
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Photo taken on Sept. 11, 2021 shows the "Belt and Road" International Pavilion at the 18th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Lu Boan)

China will make efforts to push forward the construction of the 3.0-version China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) while continuing the high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), reported Shanghai Securities News Tuesday quoting an official from the Ministry of Commerce.

China will also increase input in sub-regional cooperation and explore new opportunities for regional investment cooperation in the context of RCEP implementation, said Li Fei, assistant commerce minister of China, at a press conference held Monday.

According to Li, the joint feasibility study on version 3.0 of CAFTA has been advanced at a faster speed.

The economic and trade cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been upgraded. Data showed that trade between China and ASEAN reached 544.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first seven months of this year, up 13.1 percent year on year and accounting for 15 percent of China's total foreign trade.

China has remained the largest trading partner of ASEAN for 13 consecutive years, and by the end of July this year, the cumulative two-way investment between China and ASEAN exceeded 340 billion U.S. dollars.

The upcoming 19th China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will inject new impetus into regional trade and investment cooperation. The expo and summit will take place from September16 to 19 in Nanning, the capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, with a total exhibition area of 102,000 square meters, of which foreign exhibition space accounts for about 30 percent.

Editor: Yu Huichen