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Third China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit Opens

The Third China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit opened on Tuesday in Nanning, capital of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a package of proposals at the summit aimed at deepening bilateral economic exchanges, expanding trade of high-value-added products, and boosting two-way investment.

"China has a trade deficit with ASEAN. But we are still committed to further opening market and increasing import from ASEAN," he said.

China will honor its commitment made last year to providing preferential loans of US$5 billion to help Chinese enterprises set up joint ventures in the ASEAN nations, he said.

China also welcomes the ASEAN nations to increase their investment in China and participate actively in China's economic development, he added.

Wen said that the investment projects collaborated by the two sides could be carried out in diversified forms such as project contracting, equity holdings, and technological cooperation.

"China will encourage Chinese companies to transfer applicable technologies to ASEAN," he said.

Wen also urged to speed up "negotiation on trade in services and investment" for the establishment of China-ASEAN free trade area.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Philippines, said in her opening remarks that trade with China could reduce the ASEAN's dependency on Western markets such as the United States and the European Union.

"Each ASEAN member country can boast of its success stories with regards to their business with China," said Arroyo, who is also holding the rotating presidency of ASEAN this year.

At Monday's commemorative summit marking the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, the two sides reaffirmed their determination to establish a free trade area by 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2006)

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