Ladies and gentlemen,
Friends from the press,
Entrusted by the organizing committees, I now release news on the 13th CAEXPO and the 13th CABIS. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations and the first year upon the ASEAN Community was built, which is an important occasion for us to build on the past achievements and usher in a future for building the Belt and Road routes. The 13th CAEXPO and the 13th CABIS feature “jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, forging an even closer China-ASEAN Community of Common Destiny” as the theme and have made new progress in driving the friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN.
I. High-profiled political dignitaries attend the two events, pooling consensus on building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and facilitating the China-ASEAN friendly cooperation to develop in a more wide-ranging and in-depth way.
Dignitaries attending the events included H.E. Zhang Gaoli, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council of China, H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, H.E. U Myint Swe, Vice President of Myanmar, H.E. Sonexay Siphandone, Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR, H.E. Phajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E. Tran Quoc Vunong, Member of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and Head of Central Commission of Inspection, and H.E. Pham Binh Minh, Member of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and Vice Prime Minister of Vietnam. Additionally, both events have attracted ministers of relevant ministries of China and the ASEAN countries, Secretary-General of the ASEAN and Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka, the Special Guest Country of the 13th CAEXPO. Altogether 246 ministerial leaders have participated in the CAEXPO and the CABIS, with 139 ones coming from the ASEAN countries and non-CAFTA economies, 10 ones more than the previous session.
A series of high-end friendly exchange events have been held on the theme of jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, forging an even closer China-ASEAN Community of Common Destiny. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli held 5 bilateral meetings and talks with his ASEAN counterparts, and joined delegates of the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Forum and Chinese and international businesses for a group photo. Chinese and ASEAN heads of state or government and heads of delegations of all countries concerned had VVIP tours to the CAEXPO exhibition pavilions and attended the opening ceremony of the CAEXPO and the CABIS. ASEAN state leaders delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Vietnam, as the Country of Honor of the 13th CAEXPO, held an array of events during the fair period, which included the inauguration ceremony of the Vietnamese Pavilion of City of Charm attended by both the Chinese and Vietnamese leaders, roundtable talks between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chinese CEOs and a national promotion conference. Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen attended the China-Cambodia Investment Cooperation Forum and made a speech. On sideline, exchange and networking programs have been arranged for ministers and vice ministers, including the China-ASEAN Trade and Economic Ministers’ Luncheon, etc.
All the visiting heads of state or government and ministers summarized the achievements made by the bilateral cooperation over the past 25 years and acclaimed the CAEXPO for its important roles on various occasions, demonstrating their consensus and determination to further deepen the bilateral friendly cooperation on all fronts.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said, China stands ready to view the bilateral relations with ASEAN from a strategic and long-term perspective, broaden consensus on cooperation and build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and an even closer China-ASEAN Community of Common Destiny. He contributed 6 proposals on enhancing the alignment of development strategy, strengthening international cooperation in production capacity, boosting economic and trade collaboration, facilitating connectivity, reinforcing financial cooperation and promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said, Vietnam will actively make research on participation in the regional connectivity initiative put forward by China, to guarantee unimpeded trade and contribute to regional peace, common development and prosperity.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, Cambodia welcomes and will fully support the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and connectivity construction.
Myanmar Vice President U Myint Swe said, Myanmar will, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and consultation, work closely with China and other ASEAN countries to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, promote investment in manufacturing industry, infrastructure construction and finance within this region, so as to foster an even closer community of common destiny on an earlier date.
Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone said, Lao PDR fully supports the Belt and Road initiative put forward by the Chinese government.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong said, Thailand supports the Belt and Road initiative of China and supports the AIIB to play important role in advancing infrastructure construction in ASEAN countries.
The opening ceremony, with the theme of “upgrading jointly, excelling cohesively”, embodies that China and ASEAN countries will work to synergize and upgrade the production capacity cooperation from traditional sectors to modern ones by giving full play to information technology and smart technology, to equip the bilateral friendly cooperation with stronger wings to fly high and to deliver rich practical outcomes.
The 13th CAEXPO continues to focus on promoting policy coordination, facility connection, unimpeded trade, monetary circulation and people-to-people exchanges, It works to build network for reciprocal cooperation, explore new cooperation model, foster diversified cooperation platforms and build a silk road for green development, a silk road for health, a silk road of intelligence and a silk road leading to peace. With new exhibition halls put into use, the CAEXPO has expanded its exhibition scale, optimized exhibition arrangement and adopt new measures to organize exhibitors and trade visitors and host trade and investment promotion programs, providing new impetus to the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
(I) New outcomes are made in business matching. New exhibition halls of the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center are put into use this year, providing an additional exhibition space of 30,000m2, equivalent to 1,200 booths, and increasing the total number of booths to 5,800, used by 2,669 exhibiting companies. The 13th CAEXPO has seen all-time high both by exhibition scale and number of exhibiting enterprises.
72 business and investment promotion events have been arranged during the fair period, and a lot of business deals have been concluded. ASEAN’s food and beverage, consumer goods, light industrial products and handicrafts, and made-in-China machinery and equipment, electronics and electrical appliances and building materials capture the utmost attention. The Exhibition on China-ASEAN Agricultural Cooperation was launched, putting on display new agricultural growing technology, agricultural machinery, renewable energy for rural areas and agricultural demonstration zones. The exhibition has supplemented and enriched the existing CAEXPO Agriculture Exhibition. Compared with the previous sessions, a wider variety of agro-based products have concluded trade deals.
As for investment cooperation, a series of events have been hosted, including the Promotion Conference on ASEAN Industrial Parks, the CAEXPO Roundtable Meeting on Investment Cooperation, the China-ASEAN Infrastructure Construction Cooperation Forum and business networking with economic and commercial counselors of Chinese embassies in the ASEAN countries. These events have promoted investment environment and policies of the countries concerned, facilitate interactions and exchanges between political and business communities, between industrial sectors and between banking institutions and enterprises. A batch of new cooperation projects have been contracted. An Exhibition on ASEAN Investment and Trade in Services was launched, showcasing industrial parks and investment projects of the ASEAN countries and attracting Chinese companies interested in outward investment to meet and talk with their potential ASEAN partners. ”Pooling Wisdom, Joining Hands for Fulfill a Shared Dream: Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” Business Networking has promoted exchanges between renowned enterprises and eminent figures of China and ASEAN countries and concluded 9 major projects that concern advanced equipment manufacturing, new generation of information technology, cross-border logistics, new materials, new energy, finance and ecological tourism.
(II) New progress made in international cooperation in production capacity. The 13th CAEXPO gives prominence on international cooperation in production capacity. The 13th CAEXPO International Cooperation in Production Capacity Series Event is jointly hosted by the National Development and Reform Commission of China, the Ministry of Commerce of China and the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. The series event arranges an exhibition on international economic and production capacity cooperation, the 2nd Forum on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road & Promoting International Cooperation in Production Capacity and Equipment Manufacturing, the China-Cambodia Investment Cooperation Forum, bilateral meetings and talks, the 1st Meeting of Directors-General of Lancang-Mekong Countries’ Production Capacity Cooperation Joint Working Meeting and matching program between project owners and investors, to boost international cooperation in production capacity in key regions and fields, scoring remarkable outcomes.
At the International Cooperation in Production Capacity Forum, China and ASEAN countries held in-depth discussion on cooperation in production capacity and equipment manufacturing as well as major opportunities that will be created for China and ASEAN countries to achieve industrial upgrading and innovation-driven development, and reached new consensus on effective ways and paths to further promote China-ASEAN cooperation in this regard. The China-Cambodia Investment Cooperation Forum explored the two-way investment cooperation, and in particular, how to mobilize Chinese enterprises to strengthen production capacity cooperation with Cambodia. Meanwhile, bilateral meetings have been held between China and Vietnam, between China and Cambodia, plus with the 1st Meeting of Directors-General of Lancang-Mekong Countries’ Production Capacity Cooperation Joint Working Meeting, which have improved the bilateral and multilateral mechanisms for production capacity cooperation.
The Exhibition on International Economic and Production Capacity Cooperation became larger and more professional and has attracted a number of renowned Chinese enterprises dealing in railway construction, electric power equipment, ICT, engineering machinery, advanced technology, building materials and finance, such as RGE Oriental Construction Co., Ltd., Aluminum Corporation of China, Huawei, China Guodian Group Co., Ltd., Guangxi Investment Group Co., Ltd. and Alibaba, etc. According to incomplete statistics, more cooperation projects have been concluded than last year, related to energy, aviation, information technology and finance.
(III) New strides made in expanding cooperation regions. A major country along the maritime silk road, Sri Lanka was invited to be the Special Guest Country of the 13th CAEXPO. The minister of industry and commerce of Sri Lanka headed a delegation consisting of political and business figures and attended the CAEXPO. Sri Lanka set up a national pavilion and put on display distinctive products under the commodity pavilion, hosted a national promotion conference and diversified cultural events during the fair period.
An International Pavilion was launched for the first time, drawing exhibitors of 18 countries around the world including ROK, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, UAE, Australia, Egypt, Lebanon and other countries along the Belt and Road routes. Buying missions and trade visitors came from 51 countries and regions. All this has extended the CAEXPO’s role in promoting the 10+1 cooperation to the cooperation among countries along the Belt and Road.
4. Making new progress in bilateral in-depth cooperation in various fields. Under the 13th CAEXPO framework, there are 34 high-end conferences and forums. Among them, 26 ones have been arranged during the fair period, more than any of the previous sessions. These high-end sideline forums and conferences include ministerial consultations and meetings/dialogues/talks of the government officials, entrepreneurs, experts, scholars and renowned people of different professions, which helped build more cooperation mechanisms and ground a bunch of major projects such as the pilot financial service center of the China-ASEAN Information Harbor and the pilot national inspection zone for China-ASEAN border trade. All of these programs have enriched the Nanning Channel and contributed to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
A host of people-to-people and cultural exchanges have also been held during the fair period, including the Nanning International Arts Festival of Folk Songs and the China-ASEAN Youth Artwork Competition and Exhibition, which have reinforced the mutual understanding and friendship.
5. Upgrading the business cooperation mechanism. The 13th CAEXPO has attracted active participation of enterprises from the private sector, which have joined various economic and trade promotion programs held on the sideline. Mr. Ma Yun, Chairman of the Board of Alibaba Group addressed the opening ceremony of the 13th CAEXPO and the 13th CABIS. Alibaba Group and its subsidiaries have concluded cooperation agreements with the government of Guangxi and relevant parties. Yunfeng Capital has organized a group of renowned entrepreneurs to join the sideline programs of the 13th CAEXPO to discuss on sparing more efforts to explore the ASEAN markets and invest in Guangxi concerning internet, big health, tourism development, ecological protection and clean energy, etc. It is the first time for Huawei Technology and Alibaba Group in the name of their headquarters. Many leading private companies have concluded a bunch of cooperation projects.
It is the first time for the CAEXPO to arrange a conference and business networking for its supporting chamber of commerce, where the Initiative on Friendly Cooperation of CAEXPO Supporting Chambers of Commerce has been signed, which symbolized that the partnership between the CAEXPO and its supporting chamber of commerce has entered into a new stage. It is also the first time for the CAEXPO to arrange a high-end dialogue for Chinese and ASEAN entrepreneurs to discuss the founding of the China-ASEAN Entrepreneurs Association, as efforts to promote the cooperation of the private capital between China and ASEAN. The China-ASEAN Chambers of Commerce Summit has established a long-term mechanism for the dialogues and exchanges among the Chinese and ASEAN business leaders, which will actively promote the exchanges and cooperation of China and ASEAN chambers of commerce and association with their counterparts in other economies. The launching ceremony of the Guangxi Entrepreneurs Association has been held at the 1st World Overseas Guangxi Entrepreneurs Conference, which aims to gather overseas Guangxi entrepreneurs together to participant in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
6. Newly-provided services have brought new experience for the participants. With the newly-built exhibition hall put into use, the 13th CAEXPO has introduced new venues for Pass Center, opening ceremony, Press Center, Customs warehouse, restaurant and meeting rooms, all of which have helped better improve the on-site management and supporting services. Besides, other services like security check, hotel reception, direct chartered flights, language and volunteers have also been optimized, allowing all the participants to enjoy more considerate and customer-oriented services.
III. The CABIS has arranged diversified programs to provide more business friendly environment for the participants
The sideline programs of the 14th CABIS have strengthened the exchanges of economic and trade information between China and ASEAN, encouraged more Chinese enterprises to invest in ASEAN and promoted ASEAN’s expert to China, creating more business friendly environment for the participants. Those programs have included the Roundtable Dialogue between Vietnamese Leader and Chinese CEOs, the China-ASEAN Business Leaders Summit, the China-ASEAN Symposium on Commercial Law Cooperation and the Business Luncheon. In addition, it has also launched the official operation of the China-ASEAN E-commerce Platform and released the Research Report on China-CLMV Trade Facilitation. All of these efforts have contributed to the building of the upgraded version of the China-ASEAN FTA.
IV. Wide media coverage and larger influence of the CAEXPO
Chinese and international Mainstream and industrial media have paid keen attention to the 13th CAEXPO. 1434 journalists of 255 media from 18 countries and regions have come and covered the events, who have published more news articles, further expanding the event influence. Relevant topics posted on the CAEXPO official weibo have been read by 36 million times, the CAEXPO official wechat has had over 210,000 followers, and the CAEXPO official Facebook account has been visited by over 530,000 users.
V. The 14th CAEXPO & the 14th CABIS
1. The 14th CAEXPO will be preliminarily arranged on September 22nd through 25th.
2. Brunei Darussalam will be the Country of Honor for the 14th CAEXPO. According to the mechanism, each ASEAN country is invited to be the Country of Honor in line with the alphabetic order of the country names. Therefore, Brunei will be the Country of Honor of the CAEXPO next year.
3. The 14th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will be concurrently held along the 14th CAEXPO.
The above arrangement has been unanimously approved by the participants of the CAEXPO Senior Officials’ Meeting held yesterday.
We have every confidence that with the joint efforts of all the parties concerned, the CAEXPO and the CABIS will be more and more productive and successful, thus to make new contribution to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and forging an even closer China-ASEAN community of common destiny.