| Jia Qinglin (C Front), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, announces the opening of the 7th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, capital of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 19, 2010. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)|
By Xinhua writers Sun Xiaozheng, Sun Yi, Liu Xiaoli
NANNING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- China and member states on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are seeking new cooperation opportunities at the 7th China-ASEAN Expo while reviewing fruitful results from more than nine months' operation of China-ASEAN free trade area (CAFTA).
The 7th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, with the theme of free trade and new opportunities, opens Tuesday in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Buoyed by the zero-tariff framework under the CAFTA, more than 2,000 enterprises from home and abroad are taking part in the 7th CAEXPO, which has 4,600 exhibition booths.
Top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin, Indonesian Vice President Boediono, and other high-ranking officials, businessmen and scholars from China and the 10 ASEAN nations also gathered in the southern Chinese city to attend the opening of the expo and the summit.
The much-anticipated CAFTA was formally launched on Jan.1, 2010. With a population of 1.9 billion and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 6 trillion US dollars, the CAFTA ranks as the world's third largest trade zone following North American FTA and the European FTA.
From January to September, the two-way trade volume reached 211.3 billion U.S. dollars, up 44 percent year-on-year, an eye-catching growth as the world economy just saw a turnaround after the financial crisis.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the summit that cementing and reinforcing the China-ASEAN strategic partnership is in the common interests of the two sides.