In his video message to the event, the Government leader said as the global economy is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN-China cooperation continues to see encouraging progress, especially in economic and trade interaction, and mutual support in the pandemic response. For more than 10 consecutive years, China has been ASEAN’s largest trade partner. Notably, ASEAN became China’s largest trade partner for the first time in the first six months of 2020 as the trade turnover amounted to 300 billion USD, in which the Vietnam-China figure accounted for 20 percent.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the video message to the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (Photo: VNA)
He went on to say that this year, during Vietnam’s Chairmanship and under the theme of “”Cohesive and Responsive”, ASEAN has redoubled its efforts to strengthen solidarity and unity, kept the pace of cooperation, responded effectively to the pandemic, enjoyed fruitful engagement with its partners, and reinforced its centrality in the regional security issues.
Most importantly, at the 37th ASEAN Summit and related Summits held in mid-November, the ten ASEAN member states and five partners, including China, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), creating a vast market of 2.2 billion people and 26.2 trillion USD in combined GDP, he said.
He shared that Vietnam is striving to fulfil the dual goal of curbing the pandemic and fostering economic rebound. At CAEXPO, it has been the country with the largest number of participating businesses and exhibition stalls among ASEAN member states. This time, Vietnam’s virtual stalls stay open until the end of 2020, thus offering huge trade opportunities for firms.
Regarding Vietnam-China ties, the PM said 2020 is also an important milestone in the bilateral relations. Vietnamese General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have held two telephone discussions where they agreed on future directions for deepening the two nations’ good neighborliness and Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
“Vietnam is joining fellow ASEAN members to realize the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, expand mutually beneficial cooperation with our neighbour China, on the basis of the UN Charter and international law, for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world,” he noted.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Nanning city, Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping said China considers ASEAN a priority of its neighbourhood diplomacy and is ready to work with the bloc to promote multifaceted cooperation and maintain prosperous and positive development in the region.
This year, nearly 80 Vietnamese firms’ branches in China display products such as agro-forestry-fishery products, processed food, wooden furniture and handicrafts, consumer goods, investment and tourism products, and services. In addition, over 100 Vietnamese enterprises participate in the fair online, showcasing agro-forestry-fishery products and processed food, consumer goods, woodworks and handicrafts.
On this occasion, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will also cooperate with the CAEXPO Organising Committee to organise an online Vietnam-China trade exchange conference on food and beverages./.