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Zhanjiang and ASEAN to be closer than ever

Source: chinadaily    Time:2017-10-13 11:28:40
As a pilot city along the Belt & Road, Zhanjiang's opening-up strategy and efforts to push forward cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are bearing fruit.

ASEAN is the most important and traditional investment destination for Zhanjiang. This year from January to August, investment from the city to ASEAN increased a massive 79.6 times on the same period last year to reach $306.34 million, accounting for 88 percent of the total investment of Zhanjiang.

Zhanjiang enterprises have steadily put down money in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand to conduct cooperation in aquatic feed manufacturing, livestock feed processing, sugarcane planting, sugar manufacturing and education.

Meanwhile, more and more products made in Zhanjiang have entered the ASEAN market with the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. In the first eight months of this year, the total trade value between the two sides grew 23.8 percent to reach 3.8 billion yuan ($577 million). The export value of Zhanjiang to ASEAN was 2.8 billion yuan, up 21.2 percent year-on-year.

Such zealous growth can be attributed to the development of the Zhanjiang Aquatic and Marine Product Base. With a complete industrial chain comprised of larvae, breeding, feed, processing, export and service, prawns have stood out to become a knock-out product of Zhanjiang.

Meanwhile, the contribution of the Small Household Appliance Industrial Base cannot go unnoticed. In 2016, the export value of the small household appliance industry in Zhanjiang reached 1.8 billion yuan, up 10 percent year-on-year.

The same year, the city exported more than 22.2 million rice cookers, accounting for over 60 percent of the national output and 50 percent of the international output.

Cooperation between Zhanjiang and ASEAN further ramped up with increasing frequent communications and exchanges. This year, the Zhanjiang Bureau of Commerce visited Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bengal and Sri Lanka to seek closer ties.

With its efforts, governments, business associations and enterprises from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam went to Zhanjiang to carry out investigations and cooperation in aquaculture and agriculture.

In addition to the economic and trade offices in Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, Zhanjiang continued to push forward work on setting up an office in Malaysia this year. Furthermore, the city signed the memorandum of cooperation with the ASEAN-China Commerce Association, the Thai-China Economic Development Association, the Sri Lanka-China Business Council, and the Thai-Guangxi Commercial Association to establish a cooperation mechanism and help itself better fit into the Maritime Silk Road.

However, there is still much cooperation potential that waits to be tapped, with a newly-added international airline heading for Vietnam by the year's end and accelerating construction of the Guangdong (Fenyong) ASEAN Industrial Park.

The relationship between the city and ASEAN is also expected to be deepened upon the growing influence of platforms such as the China Marine Economy Expo, China International Aquatic Products Exposition, and ASEAN Agriculture Trade Fair, which are held in Zhanjiang.

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