On 12 June 2017, the Opening Ceremony of South & Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF) was held in Yunnan Convention Center & Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center. Officials from government departments of China and Southeast Asia, South Asia and other regions, Embassies and Consulates in China, heads of relevant international organizations, well-known chambers of Commerce and representatives of enterprises, totaling 3,000 people, attended the ceremony. H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), attended and addressed the ceremony.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Chen Hao, Secretary of Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, expressed that Yunnan and South Asian as well as Southeast Asian countries enjoy geographical proximity, cultural affinity, business connectivity and profound friendship, which has forged a natural community of shared future. The aim of the SSACEIF is to promote practical cooperation, unleash development potential, and realize economic integration together with interconnected development and achievements sharing. It’s expected to promote the building of the “Belt and Road” and Lancang-Mekong sub-regional cooperation, China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor.
Mr. Li Chenggang, Assistant Minister of Commerce, and Mr. Lu Pengqi, Vice President of the International Chamber of Commerce, spoke highly of the achievements of practical cooperation between South Asian and Southeast Asian countries and China. They expressed that countries in South and Southeast Asia are important trading partner and source of foreign investment of China, the depth and breadth of exchanges reached historic level and with great potential and bright future for cooperation. Yunnan is the frontier area of China’s opening to the South and Southeast Asia which has the important advantage in the Belt and Road Initiative. They believe the SSACEIF could establish the useful platform for all parties to expand economic and trade cooperation and deepen cultural exchanges.
Consul General Mr. Amuna of Pakistan, Theme Country of SSACEIF in Chengdu, Vice Minister Mr. Khamlien Pholsena of Lao PDR, Guest Country of SSACEIF, and President Suraji of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI), delivered speeches respectively. They expressed appreciations to the role of SSACEIF in strengthening contacts between South and Southeast Asian countries and China and hoped that participants from business circles can seize the opportunity to actively carry out business partnership to achieve mutual benefit and common development.
Secretary-General Yang Xiuping expressed that since the establishment of dialogue relations between ASEAN and China, the two sides have set up an all-round, wide-ranging and multi-tiered cooperation framework which has achieved fruitful results. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing last month. It stressed the importance to align the Belt and Road Initiative with ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 which charted the course for mutually beneficial cooperation between ASEAN and China and sustainable development in the region. ACC hopes to make greater contributions to the friendly exchanges between ASEAN countries and China, especially Yunnan province by co-hosting the 2017 SSACEIF.
The 2017 SSACEIF lasted for 7 days, with 8,000 standard booths from 86 countries and regions including 896 booths of 11 Southeast Asian countries and 8 South Asian countries. The ASEAN Pavilion, South Asian Hall and International Capacity Cooperation pavilions as well as the theme country and guest country exhibition area were set up in the SSACEIF. A series of new activities were added to this year’s agenda such as the China -Southeast Asia Business Forum.