On 15 June 2018, H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), attended the 2nd China-Southeast Asia Business Forum and made keynote remarks.
Secretary-General Yang Xiuping extended a warm welcome to all the participants who attended the forum and thanked Yunnan Provincial People’s Government, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and its Yunnan Sub-council, for their contribution to the forum. She spoke highly of the active participation of Yunnan province in the building of the Belt and Road and its positive contributions to the development of ASEAN-China relations.
In her speech, Secretary-General Yang Xiuping mentioned that an all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation framework between ASEAN and China has taken shape and delivered tangible benefits to the 2 billion people of both sides. ASEAN-China cooperation has gone far beyond the bilateral scope and has become an important force for promoting peace, stability and common prosperity in the region. Last month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid a successful visit to Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. This visit has cemented the good momentum of ASEAN-China relations. Premier Li Keqiang stressed that China is committed to be ASEAN’s partner for common development, peace, greater openness and win-win progress, entrepreneurship and innovation, and in promoting inclusiveness and mutual learning. China wishes to work with ASEAN to build a closer community with a shared future and a better tomorrow for ASEAN-China cooperation. SG Yang expressed her belief that with the joint efforts of both sides, ASEAN-China relations will reach a new level.
Secretary-General Yang Xiuping opined that at present, the process of regional economic integration is at a critical juncture in which the Belt and Road Initiative has made steady headway, e-commerce in the region has enjoyed a strong momentum of growth, while cross border economic cooperation continues to make progress. ASEAN and China are working together for win-win outcomes, which has set a fine example for regional economic integration. At the same time, the global economy has been recovering, yet has not completely stepped out of the adjustment period of weak growth. It faces challenges of de-globalization and rising trade protectionism. In this context, regional connectivity, cross-border economy and integration still has a long way to go. The theme of the forum, “Connectivity, Cross-border Economy and Integrated Collaboration", is in line with the reality of the region, reflects the needs of all parties and represents the common interests of ASEAN and China.
Secretary-General Yang Xiuping suggested that to better leverage regional advantages and advance regional economic integration, all parties should focus on the following aspects. First, to synergize development strategies and seek coordinated regional development. Second, to promote regional FTA negotiations and build an open, inclusive and balanced framework for regional economic cooperation. Third, to strengthen regional financial cooperation to ensure smooth financing and financial stability. Fourth, to strengthen cooperation on innovation and foster new growth points for regional cooperation, and Fifth, to further enhance publicity and raise public awareness of the process of regional economic integration.
Secretary-General Yang Xiuping also briefed on ACC’s mandate and major work. She said that ACC is an inter-governmental organization co-founded by 10 ASEAN Member States and China. Since its inception in 2011, ACC has been committed to implementing the consensus reached by the leaders of both sides and promoting practical cooperation in areas of trade, investment, education, culture, tourism as well as information and media. On trade and investment, ACC has worked actively to promote the upgraded ASEAN-China FTA and relevant ASEAN trade and investment policies, and enhance cooperation on production capacity, agriculture and poverty reduction. Last May, ACC successfully held the “ASEAN-China Belt and Road Business Forum: the First E-Commerce Cooperation Dialogue” in Jakarta, which was well received and highly appreciated by all sides. Looking ahead, ACC will continue to play its role as a one-stop information and activities centre and join hands with all sides to take ASEAN-China practical cooperation to a new level and contribute to regional economic integration.