|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 25, 2013. Li met with a delegation of trade ministers from ASEAN countries in Beijing on Oct. 25, 2013. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)
BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday underlined the country's commitment to upgrading free trade area with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In a meeting with ASEAN trade ministers' delegation, Li said great potential exists in trade, investment and people-to-people cooperation between China and ASEAN.
Li said the delegation's trade and investment promotion activities in China help implement China-ASEAN cooperation framework over the next decade.
Li said China supports ASEAN's leading role in East Asia cooperation and regional integration.
Li pledged China's willingness to build strategic trust with ASEAN countries, deepen all-round cooperation, upgrade the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and bring more benefits to people in the region.
China is the largest trading partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN is the third-largest trading partner of China.
The CAFTA is the largest free trade area in the world in terms of population and third largest in terms of nominal GDP. Under the free trade agreement, tariffs will be reduced to zero on almost 8,000 product categories, 90 percent of imported goods.
Knowing trade ministers travelled by high-speed train from south China to Beijing, Li thanked them for staging a roadshow for Chinese high-speed train.