Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (8th L) attends the unveiling ceremony for the opening of the 14th China-ASEAN Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit with foreign dignitaries and guests, in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 12, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
The expo, together with other initiatives and projects, will lift the China-ASEAN relationship to a new stage.
The four-day event has attracted 2,709 exhibitors, up 1.5 percent from the previous year, while the number of buyers is expected to exceed 10,000, including about 4,000 international buyers, official data showed.
The expo serves as an important platform to show the deepened economic and trade ties between China and ASEAN, and has attracted many small and medium-sized enterprises from Brunei, which are the country's major source of employment, said Hassanal.
Along with the expo, China and ASEAN are exploring new ways, as well as fields, in which to collaborate.
China is willing to expand cooperation in tourism with ASEAN, as this year marks the China-ASEAN Year of Tourism, Zhang said.
As China and ASEAN both have abundant tourism resources with their own characteristics, increasing trips made between the two sides have played an important role in enhancing exchange and understanding between their peoples, according to Zhang.
In terms of trade, Zhang also stressed the need for full implementation of a protocol signed in 2015 on upgrading the China-ASEAN Free Trade.
"China is willing to expand imports from ASEAN countries. We welcome them to attend the first China International Import Expo to be held in 2018," Zhang said.
China is also willing to, along with ASEAN, push ahead talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which was launched in 2012. The RCEP talks involve the 10 ASEAN members and their six major trading partners -- China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, New Zealand and Australia -- with the aim of facilitating expansion of regional trade and investment.
Cooperation in industrial capacity is also expected to speed up.
"China's equipment is cost efficient, and it has advantages in technology, training and financing, enabling China and ASEAN countries to nurture new comparative advantages and create new room for economic growth," Zhang said.
In addition, China will actively engage in cooperation with ASEAN in environmental protection, ecological restoration and the circular economy, in a bid to "build a green Silk Road," Zhang said.