The 17th China-ASEAN Expo and the concurrent China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit concluded Monday in Nanning, the capital city of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, promoting high-quality cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
A total of 86 investment projects worth 263.87 billion yuan (around 40.1 billion U.S. dollars) were signed at the four-day event, up 43.6 percent year on year, according to data released by the expo's secretariat at the closing ceremony.
The investment projects in the fields of health, big data, logistics, new manufacturing, new materials, new energy and finance, accounted for 85.3 percent of the total.
With an exhibition area of 104,000 square meters, this year's expo set up 5,400 booths for 1,668 enterprises, including Fortune 500 and industry-leading companies. In addition, 1,956 enterprises from home and abroad participated virtually in the event.
This year's expo featured an exhibition area accommodating 108 companies from 22 countries, mostly countries participating in the BRI, including Pakistan, Iran, France, Italy and Russia.
More than 150 trade and investment promotion activities were also held both online and offline during the expo.
The 18th China-ASEAN Expo is preliminarily scheduled for Sept. 10 to 13, 2021, with Laos continuing as the Country of Honor and Pakistan the Special Partner Country.
PROMOTING BRI COOPERATION
This year's expo has achieved good results conducive to pushing forward the development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and deepening cooperation among participating countries, according to the expo's secretariat.
During the expo, a strategic cooperation framework agreement among several logistics companies along the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor was signed to speed up development of the BRI.
The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor is a trade and logistics passage jointly built by western Chinese provincial regions and ASEAN member states. It serves as a bridge between the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Meanwhile, nine commercial banks from provinces and cities along the corridor also signed a proposal to offer financial support for the construction of the land-sea trade corridor.
"Over the last 17 years, the China-ASEAN Expo not only demonstrated the achievements by China and ASEAN in strengthening business and investment cooperation but also became an important force in promoting the construction of the BRI," Sonexay Siphandone, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, said during the expo.
Djauhari Oratmangun, Ambassador of Indonesia to China, said during the expo that better cooperation between China and ASEAN in the near future will benefit and serve the welfare of people in China, ASEAN and BRI countries.
This year's expo also highlighted the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's biggest trade pact, which was signed earlier this month by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including ASEAN's 10 members and China.
Wang Lei, secretary-general of the expo's secretariat, said that the high-level dialogue platform of the expo will be expanded from China and ASEAN to RCEP countries, encouraging them to play a more active role in development of the BRI.