The 16th CAEXPO will be held on：
Sep 20th-23rd,2019 8:30-17:00 (Trade Days)
Sep. 23rd,2019(Public Day)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to the opening of the 2nd China-ASEAN Expo.
Having personally participated in the inaugural of China-ASEAN Expo in 2004 and noting the many innovations that have been introduced this year, I would like to thank and congratulate the organisers for their proactive approach to deliver for us a delightful array of fanfare and activities for this Expo.
I would like to recall that the China-ASEAN Expo was a proposal by Premier Wen Jiabao at the 7th ASEAN-China Summit on 8 October 2003, in Bali, Indonesia. This proposal was well received by the ASEAN Leaders, and indeed, ASEAN is proud to be a partner in the annual staging of this major event.
The Expo is meant to complement developments in the realisation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (FTA), which is deemed as the biggest FTA in terms of population with a market of 1.85 billion consumers and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of almost US$2.5 trillion.
I would like to highlight that there has been a phenomenal growth in ASEAN-China bilateral trade since both sides agreed to establish the FTA in 2002. For the period 2002-2004, bilateral trade grew at an annual rate of 38.9%, reaching US$105.9 billion in 2004. The latest trade statistics further revealed that bilateral trade grew by 25% during the first half of 2005 to US$59.76 billion as China continues to be ASEAN’s fourth largest trading partner and vice-versa.
I am optimistic that ASEAN-China trade figures could only grow further. The Agreement on Trade in Goods under the ASEAN-China Framework Agreement for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation is already implemented and as tariffs are reduced and eliminated, more business would be transacted between the two sides.
Certainly, under this more open trading environment, there is much room for our respective farmers, manufacturers, exporters, importers and traders to sell their products, widen their markets and grow their business. The best thing to do now is to introduce them, acquaint them with one another and match their business needs. And what a better opportunity and venue for them to do this than this Expo that we are now in!
I wish all of you a successful and profitable journey through this massive Expo!
Thank you for your attention.
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