China, ASEAN trade solid against financial crisis
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 12:03
Nanning: Trade volume is said to grow between China and the 10 ASEAN countries with the "blooming" of financial services between the two parties and a free trade agreement, a Chinese official said.

On the eve of the 6th annual China-ASEAN Expo to be held in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nong Rong, vice secretary general of the Expo, told reporters that China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will become each other's third-biggest trading partner soon.

"In recent years, the number of goods traded tariff-free between China and ASEAN has been increasing and the trade volume growth has stayed at around 20 to 30 percent," Nong said.

"Currently, we are each other's fourth trading partner and we expect an upward movement very soon. The free trade zone that comes into effect next year will also help boost the figure," he said.

But he declined to give any estimates.

The bilateral trade volume grew from USD 100 billion in 2004 to USD 231 billion last year, according to official figures.

The China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, effective in January and covering 30 per cent of the global population, is expected to boost the bilateral trade growth with an additional trade volume of USD 106 billion by lifting tariffs on most commodities.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 12:03

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