At the invitation of the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), Secretary-General Ma Mingqiang of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), led the delegation of ASEAN Economic and Commercial Counselors in Beijing, namely, Mr. Aung Kyaw Than, Commercial Counselor of the Myanmar Embassy, Mr. Nguyen Van Xuan, Economic Counselor of the Vietnamese Embassy, and Ms. Bun Chamnan, Commercial Attaché of the Cambodian Embassy, to attend the 3rd China Marketing Conference (CMC) in Jimo, a satellite city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, from 30 to 31 October 2014.
Organized by CGCC and themed on “Coordination and Innovation: Opening up a New Vista for the Chinese Market”, the opening ceremony of the conference was graced by Mr. Zhang Zhigang, Chairman of CGCC, and H.E. Mr. Juan Carlos Capunay, Peruvian Ambassador to China.
During the conference, Secretary-General Ma signed the “MoU on Cooperation in Setting up ASEAN Products Trade Centres (APCs) Throughout China” on behalf of ACC with Mr. Luo Yulong, Secretary-General of the Marketing Committee of CGCC. Under the MoU, ACC and CGCC will make joint efforts to set up APCs in selected hub cities with considerable populations and higher level of consumption, with a view to facilitating ASEAN products’ access to the Chinese market and promoting trade growth between ASEAN and China. The first 2 cities proposed by CGCC for further exploration under the MoU included Fuyang in Anhui Province and Deyang in Sichuan Province.
In his keynote speech at the International Cooperation Forum held within the umbrella of the Conference, Secretary-General Ma said that thanks to the immediate geographical proximity, strong economic complimentarity and closer political relations between ASEAN and China, trade between ASEAN and China more than tripled in the first decade of the 21st century and China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) had been spurring further growth since it came into effect in 2010. Following this momentum, China’s trade volume with ASEAN was bound to overtake those with EU and US, thus establishing ASEAN as China’s biggest trade partner in the foreseeable future. He also noted that the growth of China’s investment to ASEAN was outpacing that of ASEAN to China, thus reversing the South-to-North direction of investment of the past decades. He emphasized that successful Chinese entrepreneurs should seize the CAFTA opportunity for their second take-off in their careers.
Counselor Aung Kyaw Than of the Myanmar Embassy and Counselor Bun Chamnan of the Cambodian Embassy also made presentations on the economic and trade cooperation of their respective countries with China, and both countries’ investment environment at the Forum.