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Economic ministers praise China-ASEAN ties

08-27-2010 09:01 BJT

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Economic ministers from China and ASEAN member states have gathered in Vietnam's Danang. At the top of the agenda is a determined effort to establish a single market in the region by 2015.

This is the first economic ministers' meeting since the establishment of the China-ASEAN free trade zone on January 1st. Attendees say tax exemption policies have greatly boosted trade ties.

Latest figures show China's total trade volume with ASEAN nations surged nearly 50 percent during the first seven months this year. Also during this period, China's direct investment to ASEAN nations more than doubled, indicating the region has become a major overseas investment destination for Chinese businesses.

Economic ministers from China and ASEAN member states have gathered in Vietnam's Danang.
Economic ministers from China and ASEAN member states have gathered in 
Vietnam's Danang.

2010 marks the 20th year since China established regular negotiation mechanisms with ASEAN nations. Chinese officials say there should be more cooperation in the future.

Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, China said "Twenty years doesn't mean we've achieved complete maturity. But it means vitality, especially at a time when the global economy hasn't fully recovered. The China-ASEAN free trade zone should be a great help."

The three-day meeting opened on Wednesday. Major topics include the economic integration of the 10 member countries, as well as the coordinated development of the Mekong River region.

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