China, ASEAN to deepen trade cooperation

Updated: 2015-09-18 20:10


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NANNING - Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said Friday that China and ASEAN members should make joint efforts to finish the negotiations on upgrading the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) by the end of this year.

He made the remarks while addressing the 12th China-ASEAN Expo, which started on Friday in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Zhang called to boost cooperation in customs, inspection and quarantine, certification, and information collection between China and ASEAN to lower non-tariff barriers and make bilateral trade and investment easier.

"We should explore new growth source of trade and expand mutual trade and investment," he said.

China aims to elevate bilateral trade with ASEAN to 1 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020 and invest over $100 billion in ASEAN between 2013 and 2020, according to the vice-premier.

"China is willing to work with ASEAN to accelerate the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and boost the regional economic integration,"Zhang added.

China is ASEAN's largest trade partner, while ASEAN ranks as China's third-largest trade partner. Bilateral trade between China and ASEAN increased 8.23 percent year on year to $480 billion in 2014.

The expo is scheduled to run from Sept 18 to 21.