CAEXPO postponed due to COVID-19

Azlan Othman

The 17th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) has been postponed until further notice due to COVID-19, according to a meeting of senior officials held recently, Xinhua reported.

The expo was to be held from September 18 to 21 in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Started in 2004, the expo is a platform to promote trade and relations between China and ASEAN.

In the first five months of this year, the total volume of trade between China and ASEAN countries reached around USD242.42 billion, up one per cent year-on-year, according to Head of the Department of Asian Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Peng Gang.

This year’s CAEXPO was to focus on partnership between the two parties in building the China-led Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The 14th CAEXPO had the theme ‘Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road’, the same theme as last year’s expo.

The China-led initiative aims to link Asia and Europe through the land-based Silk Road and connecting Southeast Asia to Africa and Middle East through the marine-based Silk Road.

Through the Silk Road, China eyes to boost its investments in Asean countries and provide infrastructure networks particularly for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to participate in the global value chain.

This year’s also aimed to centre on trade and investment as well as the China-Asean Tourism Cooperation Year to promote the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

It also targets to strengthen cooperation towards the Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade pact of the economic bloc with its six dialogue partners including China.