Ren Hongbin, Chinese assistant minister of commerce was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying at a press conference on July 29 that China has remained ASEAN's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. Last year, ASEAN also became China's largest trading partner.
In the first half of this year, bilateral trade continued robust expansion, registering a 38.2 percent year-on-year growth, he noted.
On the investment front, ASEAN has become one of China's major outbound investment destinations and sources of foreign direct investment, with cooperation booming in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure, high-tech, the digital economy, and the green economy.
Mutual investment between China and ASEAN exceeded 310 billion USD as of June 2021, while the business revenue of Chinese enterprises from project contracts in ASEAN countries reached 350 billion USD.
Looking ahead, Ren said China would actively promote economic and trade ties with ASEAN by enhancing cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic and jointly pushing forward the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
The 18th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will be held from September 10 to 13 in Nanning, the capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
With an exhibition area of 124,000 square meters, the expo this year will set up a special area for RCEP members and invite more countries and enterprises to take part, according to Liu Hongwu, Vice Governor of Guangxi Liu Hongwu./.