This year marks the 10th anniversary of the proposal of building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future and the Belt and Road Initiative, and the 20th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
The 1st China-ASEAN Expo and the summit were successfully held in Nanning, the capital city of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in 2004. Since then, the China-ASEAN Expo is held once a year and Nanning becomes the permanent host city of the Expo, forming a "Nanning channel", which has been an important platform for China-ASEAN opening-up and cooperation and become a shining name card of Guangxi.
Over the past 20 years, various kinds of goods from ASEAN countries have entered the Chinese market through the China-ASEAN Expo platform, and China's economic development brought opportunities for more and more ASEAN merchants.
Many enterprises from China, ASEAN and even all over the world are using the "Nanning channel" to cooperate with each other in the multiple areas, such as trade in goods, investment, trade in services, international production capacity and cross-border park construction, etc.
In the past five years, Nanning has signed nearly 300 projects during the China-ASEAN Expo, with a total investment of over 200 billion yuan, said Liang Qing, Director of Investment Promotion Bureau of Nanning.
Besides, the China-ASEAN Expo has effectively advanced China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation over the past 20 years and promoted a large number of Chinese enterprises to "go global".
Bilateral trade between ASEAN and China significantly increased from over 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2004 to 975.34 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.
China has remained ASEAN's largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years. ASEAN has been China's top trading partners for three years in a row.
Wei Zhaohui, secretary-general of the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat, noted that the unique "Nanning channel" has gradually become a "golden channel"for economic and trade cooperation among China and ASEAN countries and even more countries in the region.
Moreover, the "Nanning channel" also to some extent strengthened the cultural exchanges and people-to-people bonds between the two sides.
It is learned that by now, China and ASEAN hase sent more than 200,000 students to each other. ASEAN countries have established 42 Confucius Institutes and 39 Confucius Schools.
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