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Free trade area boosts ASEAN trade

07-01-2010 13:57 BJT

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The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area took effect on the first day of this year, and trade volume between ASEAN countries have surged significantly since then.

This is Southeast Asia's infamous Golden Triangle, but the "gold" now refers to the thriving international trade among neighboring countries.

In the northeast Thai city of Mae Sai, made-in-China products are everywhere. The city doesn't share a border with China, but it seems Chinese products have found a lucrative market across country lines.

Products from China have also found popularity in Burma and Laos, especially in the bordering cities.

The FTA not only brings cheaper Chinese products to ASEAN countries, but also new opportunities for ASEAN businesses.

The export volume from Thailand to China jumped more than 80 percent in the first two months of this year, compared to the same period of last year. China is now Thailand's largest export market.

In the first five months of this year, trade between China and ASEAN countries increased by nearly 60 percent. ASEAN members have jointly surpassed Japan to become China's third largest trade partner.

Although Chinese products are popular in ASEAN countries, locals are mostly attracted by the competitive price point.

Consumer in Bangkok said "Chinese products are cheap."

The FTA is boosting trade between ASEAN countries. But businesses hope infrastructure and services will be upgraded, to further promote and develop trade.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CCTV.com

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