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FTA boosts China-ASEAN H1 trade by 55 pct

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FTA boosts China-ASEAN H1 trade by 55 pct

Postby momopi » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:31 pm

Currently the annual China-US trade is about $400 billion USD. In comparison, in the first 6 months of this year, the China-ASEAN trade reached $136.5 billion. At current rate of growth, I'd expect total Sino-ASEAN trade to reach $300 billion USD by end of 2010.

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FTA boosts China-ASEAN H1 trade by 55 pct

16:33, July 26, 2010 Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum

Trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) surged 55 percent in the first half of this year to reach 136.5 billion U.S. dollars boosted by an agreement to expand bilateral trade, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), officials say.

China's trade with the ASEAN also outgrew the country's total foreign trade by 11 percentage points for the same period, Gao Hucheng, China's vice minister of commerce, said Monday at a press conference held in Beijing.

China's imports from ASEAN countries hit 71.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first half, up 64 percent year on year, while exports to them from China grew 45 percent to 64.6 billion U.S. dollars, Gao said.

China's non-financial direct investment in ASEAN member states neared 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in the first half while investment from ASEAN countries in China reached 3.1 billion U.S. dollars, Gao said.

As of the end of June, aggregate bilateral investment reached 69.4 billion U.S. dollars, he said.

Gao said the global financial crisis had not affected the progress of CAFTA which seeks to expand bilateral trade by slashing tariffs.

"The creation of the CAFTA shows China and ASEAN countries' confidence and determination to fight the financial crisis together, by promoting trade and investment liberalization," said Gao.

"The establishment of CAFTA has also pushed the China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a higher level, and has helped the global economy," Gao said.

An event to expand trade cooperation, the 7th China-ASEAN Expo will be held in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, from Oct. 20 to 24 this year

So far, 4,522 booths have been booked by exhibitors from both home and abroad, Chen Wu, vice chairman of Guangxi regional government said at the press conference.

Last edited by momopi on Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby momopi » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:34 pm

Background info on China-ASEAN FTA:
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China-ASEAN free trade area starts operation

·China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations kicked off free trade area Friday.
·From Friday, the average tariff on goods from ASEAN countries to China is cut down to 0.1%.·Six original ASEAN members will slash average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8% to 0.6%.

A customer picks up bananas at a fruit market in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on Jan. 1, 2010. China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Friday kicked off the world's largest free trade area (FTA) embracing developing countries. The China-ASEAN FTA covers a population of 1.9 billion and involves about 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars of trade volume. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei)
Photo Gallery>>>

NANNING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off their free trade area (FTA) on Friday.

The world's largest FTA embracing developing countries covers a population of 1.9 billion and Related
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China-ASEAN FTA sets stage for economic integration

involves about 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars of trade volume.

The average tariff on goods from ASEAN countries to China is cut down to 0.1 percent from 9.8 percent.

The six original ASEAN members, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, will slash the average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent. By 2015,the policy of zero-tariff rate for 90 percent of Chinese goods is expected to extend to the four new ASEAN members, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Dozens of trucks, mostly carrying dragon fruit from Vietnam, thronged border markets Friday morning, waiting to be unloaded at the Tianyuan Fruit Trade Market, one of China's largest market for fruit import, at the Pingxiang Port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

"The establishment of the free trade area is really good news for me," said Liu Yuzhen at the Tianyuan market, who has been trading fruits for 16 years.

She now sells more than 10 tonnes of apples, pears, oranges and other fruits to southeast Asia every day, and hopes her business will expand as the FTA will facilitate the customs clearance and reduce the logistics cost.

Gu Xiaosong, vice president of the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, said both ASEAN members and southern China provinces abound with tropical primary products like rubber and tropical fruits, and thus competition in the earlier stage of the FTA will be unavoidable.

"But such competition will eventually lead to optimization of the agricultural and industrial structures in the region, which will help form a more competitive entity in the global market," he said.

There is a provision in the FTA for a temporary delay in tariff reduction by reclassifying goods as "sensitive" and "highly sensitive" products.

A customer buys clothes at a market in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on Jan. 1, 2010. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei)
Photo Gallery>>>

High-tariff items that include automobiles, rice and some petrochemical products are listed as "highly sensitive," thereby allowing both sides to reduce their tariffs below 50 percent by 2015 for original ASEAN members and 2018 for new members.

"China's efforts to establish the FTA aim not only at expanding overseas markets, but also promoting trade and investment liberalization, especially amid the global trade protectionism," said Zhang Monan, an economist with the State Information Center.

China and ASEAN members could cooperate in wider fields, from natural resources to high technologies, she said. "The further economic integration between the two sides could be very competitive in the global economy."

Her comments were echoed by Yang Tianpei, chairman of Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce.

"China wants raw materials while Malaysia needs daily use articles and electric and mechanical products," he said. "The FTA will facilitate trade and reduce the prices."

"The Chinese enterprises can build factories in Malaysia to further reduce costs as well as increase jobs and revenues in Malaysia," he said.

Zhang said the FTA would also facilitate more cross-border yuan trade settlements and currency swap agreements between China and ASEAN members.

The cooperation will help ASEAN members become less dependent on the U.S. dollar, which has become highly volatile as a result of the global financial crisis, she said.

China's Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said earlier the establishment of the FTA will promote the regional economic integration, benefiting companies and consumers.

China and the ASEAN launched their cooperation dialogue in 1991 and signed the China-ASEAN Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Cooperation in 2002.

Special Report: China-ASEAN FTA
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Postby Repatriate » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:06 pm

The longterm strategy for China has been to secure deals for natural resources in countries that have had bridges traditionally burned by the western powers like Venezuala, Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, etc.. and then diversify trade globally to have less investments locked up in risky U.S. funds that are subject to political manipulation. It's a very shrewd but smart move to move away from being too connected to one country.

Plus much of Asia saw how the bottom fell out from a lot of western nations overnight in 2008-2009 and realize that there is an international shell game going on with banking funds.
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