Delegation of Representatives of ASEAN Embassies in China Held Group Meeting with Departments of Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Source: ASEAN-China Centre
Time: 2018-Jun-4 21:16

On 4 June 2018, the delegation of representatives of ASEAN Embassies in China held a group meeting with representatives from Foreign Affairs (Overseas Chinese Affairs) Office (FAO), Education Department, Cultural Department, Tourism Development Committee, Commerce Department of the government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and representatives from Hohhot Municipal City. The two sides had in-depth discussions on ASEAN-Inner Mongolia and ASEAN-China practical cooperation. H.E. Mr. Thit Linn Ohn, Ambassador of Myanmar to China, H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), representatives from Embassies of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam, and Ms. Huang Ying, Director of General Affairs and Coordination Division of ACC attended the meeting, which was moderated by Mr. Fu Yongchun, Director General of Inner Mongolia FAO.

Mr. Zhang Yamin, Deputy Director General of Education Department of Inner Mongolia briefed on higher education exchanges between Inner Mongolia and ASEAN countries. He said that several universities from Inner Mongolia had cooperation with those from ASEAN countries. They have carried out programmes on exchanges of students, teachers and academic research with universities from Malaysia and Thailand, and also had discussions with higher education institutions from other ASEAN countries on strengthening cooperation via exhibition platforms such as China-Mongolia Expo. Inner Mongolia is making great efforts to push forward its opening-up of education cooperation and hopes to further explore education cooperation with ASEAN countries with continuous support from ACC and ASEAN embassies in China.

Mr. Zhang Yujun, Deputy Director General of Tourism Development Commission briefed on tourism cooperation between Inner Mongolia and ASEAN. He said that the number of visitors from both sides has been increasing in recent years, with Inner Mongolia receiving 12,000 ASEAN tourists and ASEAN receiving 122,000 Inner Mongolia tourists through tourist agencies in 2017. Direct flights from Hohhot to Phuket and Bangkok of Thailand have been opened since 2017. Inner Mongolia has also participated in tourism exhibitions in Malaysia and Thailand, and set up Inner Mongolia Tourism Marketing and Promotion Center in Singapore so as to build up the overall image and brand of Inner Mongolia Tourism. Inner Mongolia will further strengthen its promotion targeting ASEAN tourists, make closer contact with tourism authorities of ASEAN countries, promote business matching between tourist companies from both sides, and introduce more products in accordance with the preferences of ASEAN tourists. Inner Mongolia sincerely welcomes ASEAN countries to participate in the first Tourism Exposition to be held in Baotou in September 2018 and realize more two-way visits.

Mr. Li Chunsheng, Associate Inspector of Commerce Department of Inner Mongolia briefed on trade relations between Inner Mongolia and ASEAN. He said that Inner Mongolia had trade relations with all ASEAN countries, between which the trade volume reached 900 million USD in 2017, and the trade volume from January to April reached 470 million USD, up by 40% in year-on-year terms. In recent years, Inner Mongolia has actively promoted economic cooperation with ASEAN by organizing enterprises to participate in activities such as China-ASEAN Expo, China-South Asia Expo, and Malaysia International Halal Showcase, which has yielded fruitful results. He hoped ASEAN countries could continue to participate in China-Mongolia Expo and proposed the two sides to expand cooperation areas, strengthen cooperation on cross border e-commerce and realize win-win cooperation of mutual benefits.

Mr. Li Xiaoqiu, Deputy Director General of Cultural Department of Inner Mongolia gave an introduction on cultural exchanges between Inner Mongolia and ASEAN. He said that numerous art troupes from Inner Mongolia such as Erenhot Ulan, Inner Mongolia National Art Theatre, and Erdos Zhungeer County Art Man-Han Music Exhibition Center visited and performed in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam since 2015. The performances showed development achievements and special culture of Inner Mongolia and were warmly welcomed by local audiences. Inner Mongolia looks forward to continually deepening cultural cooperation, expanding areas of exchanges and will actively support cultural exchanges among the people and make new efforts to advance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and promote people-to-people connectivity.

Ms. Li Hong, Director General of Hohhot Foreign Affairs Office briefed relations between Hohhot and ASEAN countries. She said Hohhot enjoys geographical advantage as a land passageway connecting north-western provinces of China with the rest of the country, and also as a bridge connecting China with Mongolia, Russia and eastern European countries. Hohhot has intensified its efforts to cooperate with foreign countries and made remarkable achievements in social and economic development. Hohhot has conducted frequent mutual visits between government officials and fruitful practical cooperation with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Viet Nam in areas including trade, culture, education and so on. Hohhot is planning to hold the Hohhot Promotion Conference in Indonesia from September to October 2018 in a purpose to build up platform for exchanges and cooperation between Hohhot and Indonesia and other ASEAN countries. Hohhot would like to extend its cordial invitation to ASEAN embassies in China to attend the above conference.

H.E. Mr. Thit Linn Ohn, Ambassador of Myanmar to China said that ASEAN countries are friendly neighbours of China and the development of both sides provides great opportunities for each other. This year marks the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-China strategic partnership, 40th Anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening-up, and the start of the second 50 years of development for ASEAN, all of which provide important opportunities for ASEAN-China cooperation. He expressed his congratulations to Inner Mongolia on its achievements of opening-up and cooperation with ASEAN and believed that this meeting would be conducive for both sides to better understand each other’s advantages and cooperation demands. He also briefed on Myanmar-China relations and friendly exchanges, and said Myanmar is ready to make joint efforts with the Chinese side, including Inner Mongolia, to push forward Myanmar-China and ASEAN-China cooperation to achieve more results that benefit peoples from both sides.

H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping commended the efforts of Inner Mongolia to cooperate with ASEAN. She briefed on the fruitful achievements made in various areas by ASEAN and China since the establishment of strategic partnership by the two sides, and the work of ACC on promoting ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, culture, tourism and media. She said that Inner Mongolia and ASEAN countries have their own advantages in such areas as economy, trade and culture, which provides vast space for further cooperation. ACC will continue to play its bridging role and work with all sides to tap the potential in accordance with major areas of cooperation and demands of both sides and make new contribution to lift ASEAN-Inner Mongolia and ASEAN-China practical cooperation to a new level.

Representatives from Embassies of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam commended the briefings and suggestions from Inner Mongolia as comprehensive and concrete and were willing to learn more about Inner Mongolia. As an important region of the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Inner Mongolia enjoys special regional advantage with rich resources and profound historical and cultural background. Inner Mongolia and ASEAN countries are highly complementary on economic cooperation which produces great potential for further cooperation. They briefed on the cooperation of their respective countries with China in various fields and put forward suggestions on how to promote cooperation with Inner Mongolia from their respective perspectives. They unanimously expressed willingness to strengthen communication with Inner Mongolia, and jointly promote to achieve greater results on exchanges between their countries and Inner Mongolia in areas of economy and trade, culture, people-to-people exchanges and so on.

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