H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China,
H.E. Mr. Ma Mingqiang, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour and pleasure, on behalf of my ASEAN colleagues, to offer our warmest congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of celebrating the Second Anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC).
Since its inception in 2011, the ACC, led by the enthusiasm and dedication of Secretary-General Ma and the entire team, has accomplished much within a short span of two years.
In the areas of trade and investment, the ACC, working in close consultation with ASEAN member states and ASEAN Missions, has played a vital role in organizing and holding a great number of important promotional trade and investment related activities in different cities of China , informing the business community of the opportunities available in ASEAN countries. I firmly believe that all these activities would contribute towards the enhancement of ASEAN-China trade and investment relations. In the coming years, we look forward to receiving more ACC led trade and investment delegations from China to ASEAN member states .
As ASEAN-China trade and investment continues to grow from strength to strength with two-way trade exceeding USD 400 billion last year. Looking at the volume and depth of the trade and investment relations, I am optimistic that ASEAN and China with the “enhanced FTA” are well on their way to achieving the USD 1 trillion target for two-way trade by 2020.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In addition to trade and investment, the ACC has also done much work in the past year to enhance public awareness of ASEAN. With the support of the ASEAN Missions, the local media and cultural institutions in China , ACC has been largely successful in creating awareness of ASEAN culture and arts by conducting workshops, seminar and exhibitions in various cities of China. I have the honour in participating and being invited to some of these activities.
To fulfill the goals set by our leaders to increase the 100,000 number of ASEAN students studying in China and Chinese students studying in ASEAN member states by 2020, I am pleased that the ACC in its 2014 Work Programme, has continued to put emphasis on education, as well as strengthening collaboration with universities , vocational colleges and exchange of scholars from both sides.
Let me say in conclusion how much I value my own close association with the ACC, for the cooperation and support the Secretary General and his team has always given to me and my staff. I believe that ACC would continue to play an important role in promoting ASEAN-China relations.
Thank you for your kind attention and have a wonderful evening.