ASEAN, China trade ties gather strength

Azlan Othman

Members of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brunei Darussalam (NCCIBD) joined the China-ASEAN Business Council virtual forum with Shaanxi’s government at NCCIBD meeting room, Beribi Industrial Complex yesterday.

The forum focussed on the Shaanxi-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fair to establish cooperation with the province.

Executive Chairman of China-ASEAN Business Council Xu Ningning said that this year ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner, attracting the attention of the world.

In the face of the global spread of the new epidemic, which has severely hindered world trade, investment, and personnel and goods exchanges, China-ASEAN trade has grown against the trend, and two-way investment too has grown against the trend, which has become a bright spot in the global economy.

The development of international economic cooperation during the epidemic has provided a model and played a main role in preventing the global economic downturn.

President of the NCCIBD Haji Mohammad Hanafi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Abdul Rahman and other senior members at the virtual meeting. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. The results of economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN fully demonstrated the vigorous growth vitality brought about by the implementation of multilateralism and free trade policies.

As one of the China-ASEAN dialogue and cooperation mechanisms, the China-ASEAN Business Council has convened more than a dozen international conferences to enhance economic cooperation in anti-epidemic cooperation this year.

China and ASEAN have the common need to enhance cooperation, with a common destiny to prevent and control the epidemic, and are innovating and pragmatically building the ‘Belt and Road’.

The upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area is leading to a larger open market. To integrate and develop, China, ASEAN and other countries are promoting the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement this year.

President of the NCCIBD Haji Mohammad Hanafi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Abdul Rahman, Deputy President Malcolm Lim, Deputy Secretary-General Abdul Halim bin Saim and other members of the NCCIBD were present at the forum.

The Vice-Governor of Shaanxi government, Director of Department of Commerce of Shaanxi province, capital city of Shaanxi government Xian city’s leaders and entrepreneurs attended the online meeting.

The China-ASEAN Business Council invited more than 160 officials from the ASEAN member states, business leaders, and entrepreneur representatives. The Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the NCCIBD, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Bandar Seri Begawan, the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Laos, the Philippine Intermodal Logistics Association, and the Malaysian Furniture Federation organised more than 70 representatives to attend the conference offline in their respective chambers of commerce.