15th China-ASEAN Expo begins

|     Achong Tanjong in Nanning     |

THE 15th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) kicked off yesterday at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Nanning, China.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohammad Yusof attended the opening ceremony.

Also present at the opening ceremony was Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, as well as a number of ASEAN leaders.

In the following four days, tens of thousands of guests from China and abroad will gather to participate in various exhibitions, forums and business conferences.

Initiated in 2004, the CAEXPO, which has become an annual fixture, plays an important role in promoting cooperation between China and ASEAN.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohammad Yusof at the 15th China-ASEAN Expo opening ceremony. – PHOTOS: ACHONG TANJONG
Visitors taking a closer look at products during the expo 15th China-ASEAN Expo

This year’s event will focus on innovation and relevant collaboration programmes between China and ASEAN member countries. A variety of exhibitions will be held to display the latest innovation achievements, including products centered on artificial intelligence, building of smart cities, and environmental protection.

Promoting trade and economic exchange between China and ASEAN member countries has long been a priority of CAEXPO, and the activities and events at this year’s CAEXPO will largely reflect this goal.

Investors, buyer groups and key enterprises from eight ASEAN member countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – are joining the expo and setting up pavilions, and will be working on enhancing economic and trade relations with the host nation.

In addition to the ASEAN member countries, Tanzania, a country sitting along the Belt and Road route and an important junction on the maritime Silk Road, has also been invited to participate in the expo as the event’s Special Guest Country.

The Special Guest Country mechanism was first launched at the 11th CAEXPO in 2014, with the purpose of strengthening exchanges between China, ASEAN member countries and other economies. Tanzania is the first African country to be honoured with the Special Guest Country designation.

As a special partner at this year’s CAEXPO, Tanzania will also be showcasing a number of important national products at the fair, including coffee beans, tea and honey.

These Tanzanian commodities will join a near endless selection of other products and services from more than 2,700 exhibitors across China, ASEAN and countries along the maritime Silk Road.

Among this is a rich collection of silverware from Cambodia displayed during the 14th CAEXPO. Chosen as the Country of Honour for this year’s edition, Cambodia has been allotted an independent exhibition hall with 145 booths to display its products, which will comprise of a wide range of agricultural products –including major crops and seeds – due to the fact that agriculture is the country’s main industry.

A number of exhibitors from Brunei are also showcasing their products at the event. A Brunei representative will notably give a talk at the 15th CAEXPO Promotion Conference on ASEAN Industrial Parks – during which Brunei’s recreational parks will be promoted.