On 4 August 2023, the 2023 ASEAN-China (Shandong) SMEs Conference for Cooperation and Development opened in Dezhou City, Shandong Province. The ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) co-hosted the event together with the Shandong provincial government. H.E. Secretary General Shi Zhongjun of the ASEAN-China Centre addressed the conference. Other guest speakers include Ms. Wang Guiying, Vice Governor of Shandong Province, Ambassador Pehin Dato Rahmani of Brunei, Ambassador Jaime FlorCruz of the Republic of the Philippines, Mr. Sanmugan Subramaniam, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Malaysia. Mr. Tian Weidong, Secretary of the CPC Dezhou Municipal Committee. Mr. Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN and Ambassador Hou Yanqi of China to ASEAN delivered video speech. Guests from Provinces of Lao PDR and the Philippines were also invited to speak at the conference.
Secretary General Shi Zhongjun noted that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the main driving force in advancing innovation and promoting ASEAN-China cooperation. ASEAN-China SMEs cooperation enjoys unique favorable conditions. The full implementation of RCEP and the launch of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Version 3.0 will further promote the opening of each other’s market and unleash the potential of SMEs cooperation. The conference will further strengthen the existing economic and trade ties between Shandong Province and ASEAN, and reap more tangible fruits.
Secretary General Shi unveiled the ASEAN-China Traditional Chinese Medicine Exchange and Cooperation Center (Dezhou) and BSD Geographic Icon City - the ASEAN Pavilion together with local senior government officials at the opening ceremony of the forum. The two institutions will enable the promotion of the exchanges of traditional Chinese medicine and the products of the two sides.
The ASEAN-China (Shandong) Enterprise Exchange Conference was successfully held on the afternoon of 4 August. Mr. Guo Chuanwei, Director of Trade and Investment Division (TID) of the ACC, gave a brief introduction of the economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN and China in recent years. Ambassador FlorCruz of the Philippines and Economic, Commercial and Investment Counsellors from the Embassies of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, as well as representatives of Malaysian and Thai business associations promoted their trade and investment policies during the Conference.
On the afternoon of 3 August, Secretary General Shi met with Vice Governor Wang Guiying of Shandong Province at a group meeting. The two sides exchanged views on further strengthening communication and promoting the cooperation between ASEAN and Shandong Province in various areas.