China vows to deepen economic, trade cooperation with ASEAN

Updated: 2016-08-05 09:27


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VIENTIANE - China on Thursday vowed to deepen economic and trade cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The pledge was made during the 15th China-ASEAN (10+1) economic ministers' meeting which was held here in the Lao capital on Thursday.

Speaking at the meeting, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng highlighted the fruitful cooperation between China and ASEAN over the past 25 years.

He said bilateral cooperation in trade and economy has all along been a "ballast" and "propeller" in China-ASEAN dialogue relationship.

Pointing out that there is immense potential for cooperation in industrial capacity between China and ASEAN, the Chinese minister called for more efforts in this regard and building cross-border industrial chains.

China stands ready to work with ASEAN on cluster cooperation in such fields as railway, information and communication, chemical industry, engineering machinery and agriculture, he said, adding that enterprises from both sides are encouraged to carry out all-round cooperation.

The Chinese minister called for greater synergy between China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and development strategies of ASEAN member countries.

He said the two sides should actively implement projects in related areas for mutual benefit and win-win results.

Gao expressed China's willingness to support ASEAN's community construction and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 as well as to participate in the region's integration.

He said China will continue to provide development assistance as its capacity allows and help narrow the development gaps between ASEAN member countries.

China will also participate in the formulation and implementation of the master plan on ASEAN's connectivity and its post-2015 agenda, he added.

According to Gao, China will vigorously promote China-East ASEAN Growth Area cooperation and the Lancang-Mekong cooperation and provide financial support via platforms like China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

China will support ASEAN's centrality in pushing forward the conclusion of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of this year, he said.

China is also willing to expand cooperation areas with ASEAN by supporting economic and trade cooperation between China's provincial areas and ASEAN member countries, he added.

A joint communique on industrial capacity cooperation was approved at the meeting and it will be submitted to a commemorative summit marking the 25th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relationship in September this year.