China-ASEAN trade to hit $500 billion

Updated: 2013-07-23 16:47


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BEIJING -- Bilateral trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will reach $500 billion in 2015, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan forecast at a press conference on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), China-ASEAN bilateral trade has surged in the past decade, from $54.77 billion in 2002 to $400.1 billion in 2012, with an average annual growth rate of 22 percent.

The first half of 2013 saw a year-on-year growth of 12.2 percent in China-ASEAN trade that totaled $210.56 billion, the MOC said.

As ASEAN's biggest trade partner, China kept a trade surplus of $8.5 billion in 2012 in its trade with the 10-nation group and pledged to increase imports from ASEAN.

By the end of June, Chinese direct investment in ASEAN countries totaled nearly $30 billion, and direct investment from the ASEAN toward China exceeded $80 billion, according to the MOC.

Gao said China will further join hands with the ASEAN to carry out the free trade agreement as the China-ASEAN free trade area was established on January 1, 2010.

The 10th China-ASEAN Expo will be held September 3-6 in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, including a celebration of the 10th anniversary of China-ASEAN partnership.