China Focus: Enterprises flock to Nanning for China-ASEAN Expo

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NANNING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The 19th China-ASEAN Expo, scheduled for Sept. 16 to 19 in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has attracted a total of 1,653 enterprises to its offline event.

At the same time, the online expo has attracted the participation of more than 2,000 enterprises. During the expo, more than 80 investment and trade promotion activities and 21 high-level forums will be held online and offline to deepen China-ASEAN cooperation in economy, trade and other fields, according to a briefing conference held in Nanning on Thursday.

The expo will spotlight the theme -- "Sharing RCEP New Opportunities, Building a Version 3.0 China-ASEAN Free Trade Area" -- to consolidate high-level dialogue platforms, improve professional cooperation platforms, and promote multi-field cooperation in order to make new contributions to building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future, said Wu Zhengping, head of the trade development bureau of China's Ministry of Commerce.

Malaysia, as the Country of Honor, will also offer a series of activities.

"The ASEAN-China free trade area agreement remains as the foundation of ASEAN-China trade relations and continues to play an important role in facilitating trade between the two sides. Therefore, it is important that this agreement continues to be relevant and benefit businesses and regional communities," Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a speech delivered via video link to the opening of the expo.

Since the first China-ASEAN Expo was held in 2004, the event has actively built a platform for ASEAN enterprises to enter the Chinese market.

Trung Nguyen Legend, a leading Vietnamese coffee company, brought its products to the first China-ASEAN Expo. The products were well-received by Chinese consumers and have since attracted buyers from all over the country. Relying on the China-ASEAN Expo, the company's coffee products have been launched on many e-commerce platforms and in physical supermarkets across China.

"China is one of our most important overseas markets, where we have more than 300 distributors. This month, we will see our first flagship coffee store open in Shanghai," said Li Wuqiang, sales director of the Shanghai office of the Vietnam Trung Nguyen Legend Group.

China has remained ASEAN's largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, said Li Fei, assistant commerce minister of China.

Official data shows that in the first eight months of this year, trade between China and ASEAN rose 14 percent year on year. ■

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