| Achong Tanjong in Nanning, China |
THE China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) has provided a platform for Asean countries to exhibit and promote their products in China, and for China a channel to import products from the Asean region, said the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar.
The expo, which kick-started on September 16 at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition centre, aimed to promote cooperation and exchanges between China, Asean and other countries as well as to enhance the influence of Asean and China globally.
The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources in an interview given to the China-Asean Expo Newsletter yesterday underscored the need for China and Brunei to bolster their cooperation in various fields, especially in trade, highlighting the importance of the proposed 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The following are the excerpts from the interview:
Question: Last October, the Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. In your opinion, what role can this plan play in deepening trade between China and Asean? And how can the two parties participate in it?
Minister: I think the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which was proposed last year at the 10th CAEXPO when I was also here, is a timely and important proposal. Now, Guangxi and Brunei is trying to build an express way-like marine economic passage. A lot of practical work is needed to realise the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. I’m happy to see that the proposal has been progressing forward and I believe that there will be more positive developments in the near future.
Question: In jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, what are the areas where should China and Brunei strengthen their cooperation?
Minister: I think the first challenge would be inter-connectivity of transport network, especially of ports. We know that some Asean countries have built very good infrastructure facilities, while some others have not made the best of it. Although there are some hitches, I believe we can accelerate the progress and enrich the proposal if we tackle those problems one by one. Cooperation between Guangxi and Brunei mainly lies in agriculture and food production, because Guangxi and Brunei are geographically close; three days will be enough for transporting goods. Nanning is one of the closest major cities to Brunei. We share similar climate and we are in the same time zone, so cooperation between us will be very effective.
Guangxi and Brunei can build an express way-like economic passage, so that the Chinese region can better cooperate with Brunei. We have our advantages in Halal food and other consumer products, while Guangxi can help us broaden the market. Therefore, such an economic expressway will accelerate the close economic cooperation between Guangxi and Brunei.