World Economy

Asean-China Trade Should Reach $1t

Asean-China Trade Should Reach $1tAsean-China Trade Should Reach $1t

Asean and China need to push for consistent double-digit growth in trade in order to achieve the $1 trillion two-way trade target by 2020, China-Asean Business Council executive vice secretary-general Xu Ningning said.

He said economic and trade cooperation between them needed to be strengthened in an effort to accelerate the growth momentum to achieve the US$500 billion’s two-way trade target next year, Bernama reported.

In the first 11 months of this year, China-Asean trade rose by 8.4 percent to $433 billion, which was lower than that of the previous year, he said, adding that China-Asean trade rose 10.9 percent to $444 billion in 2013.

Xu said a series of cooperation had been initiated to boost trade in the region, apart from pursuing the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road idea, as a catalyst for infrastructure development in the region, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping last year.

“China and Asean have also agreed to accelerate negotiations to upgrade the China-Asean Free Trade Area (CAFTA) next year,” Xu told a press briefing here Monday.

China is Asean’s largest trading partner since 2009, while Asean is China’s third largest trading partner since 2011.

Xu said the China-Asean Business Council would serve as a platform for dialogues to enhance exchanges, cooperation and economic development between industry players of both entities.

“The China-Asean Business Council provides an effective channel for industry players to seize business opportunities in free trade zones,” he added.

In November, Chinese premier Li Keqiang said China offered US$20 billion in loans to support Asean interconnectivity, an additional US$3 billion for the second phase of the China-Asean Investment Cooperation Fund.