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The China-ASEAN Expo in Brief

Ministry of Commerce

September 6, 2006

Proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and ignited by state leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries, the China-ASEAN Expo is a pragmatic endeavor to accelerate construction progress of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), and the superb platform for mutually-beneficial cooperation for win-win results between China and the 10 ASEAN countries.
I. The China-ASEAN Expo In Brief

(I) Origin

On October 8, 2003, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made the proposal at the 7th China-ASEAN Leaders' Summit (10+1) that an annual China-ASEAN Expo (the CAEXPO) be held in Nanning, Guangxi, China, from the year 2004 onwards。As an effective act to facilitate the construction of CAFTA, this proposal was well received by state leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries, and was written into the Chairman's Statement released afterwards. At the 8th China-ASEAN Leaders' Summit (10+1) held in November 2004, state leaders extended congratulations on the successful 1st CAEXPO, which were again written into the Chairman's Statement of this Summit.

(II) The CAEXPO, an exposition with unique features

1. The CAEXPO is the only exposition backed by FTA and an international grand event at state level for economic and trading cooperation that is co-sponsored by China and the 10 ASEAN countries.

The CAEXPO aims to fuel the construction progress of CAFTA, promote cooperation and create more business opportunities, and themes on Friendship, Cooperation, Development and Prosperity. The CAEXPO, guided by the Framework Agreement on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN and following the construction pace of CAFTA, adheres to the principle of reciprocity, focuses on stimulating economic and trading cooperation within CAFTA and is open to the whole world.

The CAEXPO is co-sponsored by the departments in charge of economy and trade of China and the 10 ASEAN countries as well as the ASEAN Secretariat, and is organized by the government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is the only international grand event at state level for economic and trading exchanges that is backed by FTA within CAFTA, which is also an annual exposition co-sponsored by 11 countries held in China. Since the very beginning, the CAEXPO embodies the common interests and desires for development of the 11 countries, and strives to meet the demands of business professionals for market expansion.

The CAEXPO is one the Top 10 Expositions/Fairs of China, which is also among the 4 major expositions and fairs sponsored and supported by the Ministry of Commerce of China. In 2005, the CAEXPO was granted a series of awards, including the Top 50 Events of China 2005, Top 100 Expositions/Fairs of China 2005, and the Award of Special Contribution to China Expositions/Fairs.

2. The CAEXPO represents market demands, aiming at promote complementarities, therefore, serves as an invaluable springboard to explore the markets of China and the 10 ASEAN countries.

The CAEXPO emphasizes on trade in goods, investment cooperation and trade in services, which showcases the commodities that enjoy prominent potentials in the markets of China and the 10 ASEAN countries. The CAEXPO provides a golden platform for enterprises to share the fruits brought about by CAFTA construction and to further explore the Chinese and ASEAN markets.

The CAEXPO sets up 4 pavilions, namely, the Pavilion of Commodity Trade, the Pavilion of Investment Cooperation, the Pavilion of Agricultural Advanced & Applicable Technology and the Pavilion of Cities of Charm.

The CAEXPO enjoys 4 features:

By combining import and export while focusing on import, the CAEXPO will serve as the bridge for ASEAN commodities to enter China.

By combining "investment inviting" and "go global" while focusing on the latter, the CAEXPO will serve as a platform for Chinese enterprises to invest in ASEAN.

By combining product promotions and forums, the CAEXPO will mirror and guide the construction of CAFTA.

By combining economic and trading activities with cultural exchanges, the CAEXPO will promote bilateral understanding and enhance friendship.

3. The CAEXPO has designed its unique logo and mascot.

Theme of the CAEXPO is Gathering, Flourishing, Prosperity. And the logo symbolizes the concept of "10+1".

Gathering: Gather focuses and concerns. Friends from China and the 10 ASEAN countries gather in Nanning, which is a great support to the CAEXPO.

Flourishing: A hibiscus in full blossom symbolizes that the platform of the CAEXPO will enjoy ample rooms for cooperation and development.

Prosperity: The 11 petals embody the glory and dreams of China and the 10 ASEAN countries, mirroring the prosperous and bright future of the 11 countries.

Mascot of the CAEXPO, the white-headed leaf monkey, is named He He, which means Cooperation, Integrity, Peace and Harmony. It embodies the theme of the CAEXPO of Friendship, Cooperation, Development and Prosperity, the pursuit of human for sustainable development, as well as the long-lasting friendship between China and ASEAN and the desires for common development and prosperity.

II. Economic Yields of The Two Previous CAEXPOs

The CAEXPO is a grand event that attracted attendance of high-profile officials of China and the 10 ASEAN countries. H.E. Madam Wu Yi, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, H.E. Mr. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E. Mr. Bounnhang Vorachith, Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, H.E. Mr. Lt-Gen Soe Win, Prime Minister of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. Mr. Phinij Jarusombu, Vice Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand and H.E. Mr. Pham Gia Khiem, Vice Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam attended the 1st CAEXPO. While H.E. Mr. Zeng Qinghong, Vice President of China, H.E. Mr. Choummaly Saygnasone, then Vice President and now President of Laos, H.E. Mr. Lt-Gen Soe Win, Prime Minister of Myanmar, H.E. Mr. Somkid Jatusaripitak, Vice Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E, Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, then Vice Premier and now Premier of Vietnam attended the 2nd CAEXPO. The two previous CAEXPOs attracted participation of the ministers of economy and trade of the 11 countries, the ASEAN Secretariat, and over 200 distinguished guests at vice ministerial level from China and the 10 ASEAN countries.

The 1st CAEXPO set up 2,506 booths, covered an exhibition space of 50,000 square meters, and attracted 1,505 enterprises as exhibitors as well as 18,000 participants, and at the 2nd CAEXPO, 3,300 booths, an exhibition space of 80,000 square meters, and 2,000 enterprises as exhibitors, and 25,000 participants as well.

In terms of exhibition space, number of participants and reputation, the CAEXPO is listed among the major expositions and fairs of China.

Rich trading yields. The 1st CAEXPO concluded a commodity trade volume of US$1.08 billion, and the 2nd CAEXPO, US$1.15 billion, rising by 6 percent. Most deals were concluded at trade in machinery & equipment, autos, motorcycles & parts, electrical appliances & electronics, agricultural produce, etc.

Cooperation in investment and technology is further strengthened. At the 1st CAEXPO, 26 investment promotion conferences were held, and international investment cooperation projects were signed, with the total contractual volume of US$4.968 billion; at the 2nd CAEXPO, 28 investment promotion conferences were staged, and the volume of investment cooperative projects contracted amounted to US$5.29 billion. The projects were related to cooperation in industry, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, fishery, mineral developing & processing, commodity trade, logistics, real estate developing, energy, tourism, infrastructure construction, high-tech sectors, etc.

Pavilion of Cities of Charm is uniquely designed. This pavilion was first introduced at the 2nd CAEXPO, when each country selected one city respectively that represented the unique cultural flavors as City of Charm to be promoted at the CAEXPO. The Cities of Charm were: Beijing of China, Bandar Seri Begawan of Brunei Darussalam, Siem Reap of Cambodia, Jakarta of Indonesia, Luang Prabang of Laos, Putrajaya of Malaysia, Mandalay of Myanmar, the City of Singapore of Singapore, Chiang Mai of Thailand, and Hanoi of Vietnam. At the 2nd CAEXPO, the exhibition space for this pavilion was 2,400 square meters. Focusing on cities, bilateral cooperation thus is extended from that among countries to the cooperation among cities. The pavilion comprehensively showcases the business opportunities in trading, investment, science & technology, culture and tourism.

III. Progress of Exhibitor Inviting of the 3rd CAEXPO

(I) The Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and the Chinese Taipei

Till August 31, 469 China-based enterprises organized by the departments of commerce of Chinese provinces and municipalities have made applications for 880 booths, for showcasing engineering machinery, foodstuff processing/packaging machinery, power-generating equipment, building materials, household appliances, etc.

The CAEXPO has signed contract with 7 chambers of commerce and government departments on setting up exclusive pavilions of commodity trade, arranging 1,250 booths for them to exhibit foodstuff packaging machinery, international economic cooperation projects, power-generating sector & related equipment, engineering machinery, automobile, agricultural advanced & applicable technology, etc. The 7 partners are: the China International Contractors Association, the China Food and Packaging Machinery Industry Association, the China National Water Resources & Electric Power Materials & Equipment Association, the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society, the China National Automotive Industry International Corp, the People's Government of Liuzhou City, and the Ministry of Science & Technology of China.

Till August 31, 122 enterprises have applied for 236 booths for the section of foodstuff processing/packaging machinery, more than the set exhibition space. 130 enterprises have applied for 208 booths for the section of power-generating equipment, and for the section of engineering machinery, an outdoor exhibition space of 3,900 square meters is arranged. Booths applied for the section of international economic cooperation exceeds the set number. Among those enterprises, the National Top 500 Enterprises as well as other leading companies are found, like GM (China), Hp (China), China Metallurgical Group Corp, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd., Aluminum Group of China, China National Machinery Industry Corporation, China Road & Bridge Corporation, Huawei Technologies, ZIE Corporation, etc.

545 enterprises made direct registrations with the CAEXPO Secretariat via Internet and Fax. They reserved 877 booths to showcase engineering machinery, power-generating equipment, building materials, household appliances, foodstuffs, etc.

Exhibitor inviting of Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and the Chinese Taipei: At the 3rd CAEXPO, Hong Kong will use a space of 164m2 for image display, Macao, 104m2, and the Chinese Taipei, 27 square meters. The total space is equivalent to 38 booths. .

(II) The 10 ASEAN Countries

Till August 31, the 10 ASEAN countries have reserved 947 booths, among which, 764 ones are confirmed. The total exhibition space for Cities of Charm is confirmed as 2811.5 square meters, equivalent to 312 booths. In the Pavilion of Commodity Trade, 764 booths are arranged, 662 among which are confirmed, taking up 86.6 percent of the total booth number. 924 booths will be used by exhibitors of ASEAN countries, accounting for 94.8 percent of the total. Currently, ASEAN CAEXPO Co-sponsors like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand have provided their partial lists of exhibitors.

IV. Conjunction of China and ASEAN - Guangxi

China-ASEAN M-shaped Regional Economic Cooperation

New platform to accelerate sub-regional cooperation within the China-ASEAN (10+1) framework

New growth pole of cooperation between China and ASEAN

New economic growth zone along the west of the Pacific Ocean

On July 20, 2006, H.E. Mr. Liu Qibao, Secretary of CPC Guangxi Committee, put forward the China-ASEAN M-shaped Regional Economic Cooperation Strategy.

This cooperation framework is composed of the Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Zone, the two parts of Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Nanning-Singapore Economic Corridor, which forms a M-shaped structure.

The project is divided into 3 phases:

First of all, to construct the Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Zone. It will extend the economic cooperation of Beibu Gulf Rim to the countries that overlook China across the ocean, including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam.

Secondly, to construct the Nanning-Singapore Economic Corridor. It will perfect the land transportation systems of the Pan-Pearl River Regions of China and the countries on Indochina Peninsular, thus spur economic growth along the corridor.

Thirdly, to enrich and enhance the Greater Mekong Sub-region Cooperation, to foster new dynamics for this cooperation framework.

The M-shaped Regional Economic Cooperation Strategy enriches the China-ASEAN cooperation platform, explores more rooms for the bilateral cooperation, and bring about new drives and contents for the CAEXPO, which will attract more business professionals at home and abroad to the CAEXPO to seek for potential partners and business opportunities.

Unique Geographical Advantages of Guangxi

Guangxi, located in the southeast coastal regions of China, is the only province of China that shares land borders and has sea passages with ASEAN countries.

Guangxi is the conjunction of CAFTA, the Greater Mekong Sub-region Cooperation and the Pan-Pearl River Regional Cooperation of China.

Guangxi is entitled to the preferential policies provided by the National Strategy of Developing Western China.

Guangxi has two platforms for regional cooperation, namely, the CAEXPO and the China-ASEAN Business & Investment Cooperation.

Nanning, host city of CAEXPO, is the provincial capital city of China that is nearest to ASEAN.

Guangxi will speed up construction as an international passage linking China to ASEAN, a platform for communication and cooperation, and a hub of logistics, trading and processing sectors as well as a center of information exchange within the region.

Land Transport

Guangxi has 12 border ports.

Guangxi has 1,411kilometers of expressways, among the Top 10 Provinces in this regard. 10 roads connect the Indochina Peninsular. Expressway is available between Nanning and FriendshipPass at the China-Vietnam border. Nanning of Guangxi is approximately 360 kilometers from Hanoi of Vietnam, which takes less than 4 hours of drive.

Railway of Guangxi will connect the Trans-Asian Railway under construction. It is only 418 kilometers between Nanning and Hanoi.

Sea Transport

9 of 10 ASEAN nations are coastal countries, which have large handling capacity but at relatively low costs. The Fangchenggang Port of Guangxi is 151 sea miles from Haiphong Port of Vietnam, and 1,439 sea miles to Bangkok Port of Thailand. The QinzhouPort is 1,338 sea miles to SingaporePort. Guangxi has a coastal line of 1,595 kilometers. 22 berths (at 10,000 tonnage) are built, and a modern harbor cluster with a handling capacity of 100 million tonnages is under construction.

Air Transport

Nanning, Guilin and Beihai are the nearest air ports of China to ASEAN countries. It takes only half an hour of flight from Nanning to Hanoi. The flight route between Nanning and Bangkok is also the convenient access of China to Thailand. Guangxi now has 5 civil airports, over 100 domestic and international flight routes. Direct flight services are available to and fro Nanning to Hong Kong, Macao, Hanoi, Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. And Nanning will soon open new flight routes to other ASEAN countries.

(China Development Gateway September 6, 2006)

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