HANOI, July 15 (Xinhua) -- A Vietnamese expert on China said here on Thursday that the relationship between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China is developing strongly and comprehensively.
The ASEAN-China relations are developing fast in all areas ranging from politics, economy, culture and education to defense and security, said Do Tien Sam, Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in an exclusive interview with Xinhua here on Thursday.
Trade and investment between ASEAN and China are increasing, said Sam.
Same said that the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement officially took effect in the beginning of this year. It has promoted trade between the two sides in the context that both ASEAN and China experienced export decreases to major markets like the United States and European Union countries.
The establishment of the free trade area will help ASEAN and China reduce their dependence on the economies of the United States, Japan and Western European countries, according to Sam.
The expert said that the FTA brings both opportunities and challenges to companies operating within the area. ASEAN companies should turn challenges into opportunities, actively upgrade the technology and enhance the management capacity to improve the quality of products.
ASEAN countries should make more efforts in tapping the Chinese market with large number of consumers and huge demands, said Sam. China, with a population of about 1.3 billion, is an ideal place for companies of ASEAN members to do business.
The FTA is expected to create a win-win situation for both ASEAN and China, he said.