Building promising and dynamic relations between China and ASEAN

Bangkok, July 19 (Xinhua) – About a 2 hour drive from downtown Bangkok, near Laem Chabang port in eastern Thailand, you can see the Chinese flag flying high in the Thai sky, well planned. An industrial zone has been built.

Established in 2006, the Thailand-China Rayong Industrial Zone is one of the first overseas industrial parks in China, providing witnesses and evidence of beneficial cooperation and common development between China and the countries from ASEAN. I go.

Currently, there are more than 160 Chinese investment companies, mainly in the automotive, electronics and machinery fields, and the industrial zone has provided more than 40,000 local jobs.

Himir Group, China’s largest tire mold supplier, established a factory in Rayon Industrial Zone in 2014. To expand its business, Himir Group established seven overseas companies around the world, three of which are in ASEAN countries.

“Most of the world’s largest tire producers have production bases in ASEAN countries. We want to get closer to them and build a Thai factory in a production base that serves the Southeast Asian market. “We are doing it,” said Qiu Jinliang, general manager. From Himir (Thailand).

In 2020, China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in ASEAN countries jumped 52.1% year-on-year, reversing the global downward trend. China’s strong economic recovery from the shock of COVID-19 and the new development paradigm of “dual circulation”, in which domestic and foreign markets are mutually reinforcing, with the domestic market being the main force, have also attracted ASEAN investments. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, ASEAN investment in mainland China jumped 50.7% in the first half of 2021.

Bilateral trade has also flourished for many years, supported by the friendly relations between the two countries and the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). For the first time in 2020, China and ASEAN have become their main trading partners.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the dialogue between China and ASEAN. Since the start of bilateral trade in July 1991, two-way trade has grown from less than US $ 8 billion to over US $ 680 billion last year.

Thanks to CAFTA, more products from ASEAN countries are entering the Chinese market, from agricultural products such as mango, dorian and coffee to primary and intermediate products such as rubber and paper.

According to Chinese customs statistics, the volume of trade between China and ASEAN maintained strong growth in 2021 and increased 27.8% year-on-year in the first half of the year.

Last November, 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including China, and 10 ASEAN member states signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). This should create a large free trade area that covers around 30% of the world’s gross domestic product, trade. And the population.

Panitan Watanayagon, chairman of the Thai Prime Minister’s Security Advisory Council, said RCEP marked “the beginning of a new era of China-ASEAN relations.” He said this would be the future of trade and investment not only for Southeast Asia but also for the world.

Chheang Vannarith, president of the Phnom Penh-based Asiavision Institute, said RCEP will encourage regional trade and investment to further reduce trade barriers, expand integrated regional markets and strengthen supply chains. regional. ..

Zhao Feng, vice chairman of SAIC Motor Group, a joint venture between Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Group and Thai conglomerate CP Group, said: Once the agreement comes into effect, it will facilitate the import and export of l business, will reduce operating costs and minimize risk.

Produced by Xinhua Global Services

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