| Azaraimy HH in Nanning |
HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is scheduled to attend the 14th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, China, to officiate at the opening ceremony for Brunei’s City of Charm Pavilion, where 119 Brunei companies – the Sultanate’s largest delegation to date – will be showcasing commodities such as handicrafts, Halal products and ICT merchandise, in a further bid to tap into the Chinese and Asean markets.
Brunei Darussalam is once more the Country of Honour at the 14th CAEXPO on September 12-15, since its first turn during the 4th CAEXPO in 2007, to which His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, led a delegation.
Every year, each Asean member is invited to be the Country of Honour at the global trade fair, in accordance with the alphabetic order of the country’s names.
The CAEXPO is co-sponsored by China’s ministries and departments of commerce, industry and trade, in collaboration with the 10 Asean member states and the Asean Secretariat. It is also organised by the People’s Government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
At the 11th CAEXPO held in 2014, the governments of Brunei and Guangxi concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic and Trade Cooperation along the Brunei-Guangxi Economic Corridor. At the 12th CAEXPO in 2015, the Brunei Government and the Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group concluded a letter of intent on building the Muara Port.
These projects have set examples for the investment cooperation of the CAEXPO. Meanwhile, Bandar Seri Begawan, as Brunei’s ‘City of Charm’ for 13 sessions in a row, is widely known among CAEXPO participants, which in turn helps to attract a large number of tourists and visitors to Brunei.
This year’s 14th CAEXPO will have six defining features:
– Imports and Exports: the CAEXPO highlights China’s imports and focusses on opening the market to the Asean region, while providing an effective bridge for Asean products to enter the Chinese market.
– Investing Abroad and In-viting Investments: The CAEXPO, keeping close pace with the China-Asean Free Trade Area (CAFTA) Investment Agreement, aims to buiding a platform for Chinese enterprises to make overseas investments in the Asean region.
– Commodity Trade and Trade in Services: In accordance with the CAFTA Agreement on Trade in Goods and the Agreement on Trade in Services, the CAEXPO boosts the trading of tariff-reduction commodities in the CAFTA, along with cooperation in services trade.
– Exhibitions and Conferences: The CAEXPO incorporates exhibitions, seminars, briefings, conferences, contract signing ceremonies, as well as high-end fora that attract wide attendance of government officials, entrepreneurs, scholars and experts, which earns it a reputation as a ‘salad bowl of exhibitions and conferences’.
– Trade Fair and Diplomatic Stage: The CAEXPO makes business opportunities of the CAFTA more accessible to enterprises, while promoting friendly partnerships between China and Asean member countries.
– Business Programmes and Cultural Exchanges: Apart from business promotion and network activities, diversified cultural and sports programmes are also held concurrently with the CAEXPO, including the China-Asean Auto Rally Race, a golf elites’ invitational, tennis games, fashion shows, food festivals and so on.
Thus, the CAEXPO covers six exhibition areas: the Pavilion of Commodity Trade; the Pavilion of Investment Cooperation; the Pavilion of Advanced Technology; the Pavilion of Trade in Services; the Pavilion of the Cities of Charm, Trade and Investment Promotion Activitives; and the CAEXPO Specialised and Overseas Exhibitions.
Meanwhile, ahead of the 14th CAEXPO, media personnel from Asean member states were invited on a tour of the city of Nanning, which is home to more than 10,000 fragrant plants, 363 species of orchids, a ‘Peach Blosson Island’ and the world’s largest Cycad Garden.