On 9 June, H.E. Secretary General Shi Zhongjun of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) attended the 2023 RCEP Local Governments and Friendship Cities Cooperation Forum held in Huangshan, Anhui Province, and delivered a keynote speech.
Secretary General Shi pointed out that with the official entry into force of the RCEP for the Philippines, the world’s largest free trade zone has entered a new stage of full implementation. ASEAN and China have always been playing vibrant and crucial roles in the RCEP region. With RCEP in its full fledge, ASEAN-China cooperation is moving ahead in a more inclusive, modern, comprehensive and mutually beneficial direction. The ACC stands ready to help enterprises in this region better share the RCEP’s dividends and promote its high-quality implementation.
The Forum was co-hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the People’s Government of Anhui Province, and was supported by the ACC. H.E. Cai Dafeng, Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and Chairman of the Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy, H.E. Wissanu Krea-ngam, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E. Seneamatmontry Chanthavong, Vice President of the Lao Front for National Development, H.E. Wang Qingxian, Governor of Anhui Province, H.E. Lin Songtian, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and other representatives attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Forum. H.E. Ambassador U Tin Maung Swe of Myanmar to China also delivered a keynote speech.
Under the theme “Regional Cooperation for a Win-win Future”, the Forum held various forms of activities in such fields as friendship cities cooperation, trade and investment, cultural and tourism industry, medicine and health. About 500 government officials from RCEP countries, diplomatic envoys in China, representatives of international organizations, entrepreneurs, experts and scholars attended the Forum.
On the afternoon of 8 June, Secretary General Shi also met with Vice Governor Sun Yong of Anhui Province. The two sides exchanged views on strengthening communication and promoting China-ASEAN cooperation in various areas.