ASEAN-China Economic & Trade Cooperation in 2018

2018 marked the 15th anniversary of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership and the “ASEAN - China Innovation Year”. In 2018, the trade and investment cooperation between ASEAN and China achieved remarkable results and rapid growth.

1. The close mutual visits between China and ASEAN have promoted pragmatic cooperation in various fields to a higher level.

In 2018, Chinese Premier H.E. Li Keqiang attended the 21st ASEAN-China Summit in commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership in Singapore. The leaders of ASEAN countries visited China or attended the 15th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS), the 10th China-ASEAN Summit Forum on Financial Cooperation and Development, the 1st China International Import Expo (CIIE) and other major events in China. Close high-level contact provided important opportunities and strong driving force to promote pragmatic economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN and China. The two sides also achieved positive progress in implementing the upgraded China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and negotiation on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

2. ASEAN-China trade reached a new high, further unleashing potential for trade cooperation.

According to the General Administration of Customs of China, the two-way trade between ASEAN and China reached USD587.87 billion from January to December 2018, hitting a historical high with an increase of 14.1% over 2017. China’s export to ASEAN reached USD319.24 billion, growing by 14.2% over 2017, and China’s import from ASEAN reached USD268.63 billion, growing by 13.8%. China is ASEAN’s largest trade partner for 10 years in a row since 2009, and ASEAN is China’s 3rd largest trade partner for 8 consecutive years after the European Union and the United States.

3. ASEAN-China two-way investment achieved growth.

According to the Ministry of Commerce of China, in 2018 China’s non-financial direct investment to ASEAN reached approximately USD 10 billion, growing by 5.1% over 2017. ASEAN’s investment to China reached USD5.72 billion, with an increasing of 12.5%. By the end of 2018, China’s total investment to ASEAN reached USD 98 billion and ASEAN’s total investment to China reached USD 116 billion. The two-way investment increased 22 times in 15 years.