Among them, the representatives from 19 consulates general in Guangzhou, namely, the US, Thailand, Poland, Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Iran, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and Portugal, attended the conference, including 11 consuls general.
They were joined by 46 representatives from business promotion agencies, chambers of commerce and trade associations, and enterprises from 6 countries, including Thailand Board of Investment, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, Japan External Trade Organisation and China-Britain Business Council, as well as approximately100 journalists at home and abroad.
In his speech, Yang Bin, deputy secretary-general of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said that Guangxi sits at an area connecting three major economic circles of ASEAN, South China and Southwest China, with unique geographical advantages– it borders the sea, territorial boundary and rivers. It is China’s only province that connects the ASEAN countries by sea and land and is one of the most dynamic regions with greatest economic potential in China, which shows promising prospects along with infinite cooperation possibilities.
According to Mr Yang, Guangxi is doing whatever it can to implement the strategy of opening-up driven development and further playing the role of the CAEXPO and the CABIS as open platforms, while pulling out all the stops to serve and lift the CHINA-ASEAN cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative to a new level.
He put forward three suggestions on cooperation: first is to share the business opportunies emerging from the CAEXPO and the CABIS; second is to work together on the building of New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor; and third is to facilitate exchanges and cooperation in various domains.
In his address, Gustanto, consul general of Indonesia in Guangzhou, said that as Indonesia’s largest trading partner, China’s investment in Indonesia has seen remarkable growth since 2013 – the total investment registered US$9.5 billion from 2013 to December 2018.
According to him, Indonesia, ASEAN’s largest country, will leverage the opportunity acting as the Country of Honor for the 16th CAEXPO to fully demonstrate its various potential opportunities in economy, society, and culture. A collection of leading Indonesian enterprises will show their products including food and beverage, accessories, jewelry, home decorations, and crafts and furnishings, as part of the CAEXPO.
In addition, Indonesia will display featured products, investment opportunities and tourism resources and bring cultural performances in the exhibition hall of “City of Charm.”
Adam Bralczyx, consul general of Poland in Guangzhou who delivered a speech, said that the CHINA-ASEAN region have witnessed sustained economic growth, continuous elimination of trade barriers and increasing consumer awareness amid unlimited business opportunities. He pointed out that Nanning, the host city of the CAEXPO, is a must-go place for enterprises from countries to demonstrate their superior products and services.
“Being the first European country to be the special partner of the CAEXPO, Poland will organise a group of well-established enterprises to participate in the event so as to tap the markets in China and the ASEAN countries,” said Mr Bralczyx.
Hong Sung-wook, consul general of South Korea in Guangzhou, said that China and ASEAN are very important trading partners of South Korea. There exists value chain-like close partnership among companies in South Korea, China, and ASEAN, showing strong economic complementary as exemplified that enterprises from these countries purchase and sell accessories, raw materials and finished products to each other. As the union of South Korea-China-ASEAN enterprises is strengthened, the CAEXPO as a platform connecting enterprises is serving its central function.
Wang Lei, secretary-general of the CAEXPO Secretariat, provided an overview of the fruitful outcomes made since the delivery of the CAEXPO15 years ago and the preparations for the 16th CAEXPO, while at the same time extending invitations to all relevant parties. It is said that the CAEXPO, which has been successfully held for 15 years, is the only national-level exposition with international presence co-hosted by governments of 11 countries under the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Framework. While the event serves the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, it reaches out to the whole world. The establishment of the Special Partner programme creates an ideal platform to connect the countries along the Belt & Road with China and ASEAN to develop economic and trade cooperation and then achieve shared benefits.
Covering a total exhibition area of 137,000 square meters the 16th CAEXPO, which will be held on September 20-23 in Nanning, Guangxi, features five major thematic exhibition areas: Commodity Trade, Investment Cooperation, Advanced Technology, Trade in Services, and City of Charm. This year there will be 33 high-level forums, with the addition of business arbitrations, and radio, television, and broadcasting, among others.
The CAEXPO this year will highlight five new characteristics.
First is “new vision”. Exhibitions will emphasize trade, investment, production capacity cooperation, digital economy, science and technology, finance, e-commerce, tourism and other areas covered in the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030.
Second is “new hotspots”. The event will focus on the construction of New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, support the construction of the financial opening gateway geared towards the ASEAN, connect with the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and serve the building of the China-ASEAN Information Harbour.
Third is “new opportunities”. Multiple types of informative economic and trade activities will be arranged to create new business opportunities. There will be more than 200 booths in the Belt & Road Exhibition Area, a new record high.
Fourth is “new influence”. In response to the China-ASEAN Year of Media Exchanges, the China-ASEAN TV Festival and other activities will be launched.
Fifth is “new experience”. In addition to the upgrading of the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center, Nanning MetroLine 3 will be open to traffic, and the city’s comprehensive supporting capabilities will be further improved.
Indonesia will serve as the Country of Honor for the CAEXPO a second time, and Poland acts as the special partner, the first time for a European country to be CAEXPO’s special partner.