China’s role in ASEAN prosperity is vital: Vice President

Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham inspects a booth featuring Myanmar wares at a trade fair in Nanning.
Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham inspects a booth featuring Myanmar wares at a trade fair in Nanning.

The 12th China-ASEAN Expo in conjunction with the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on Friday kicked off at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Nanning, China.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham described China and ASEAN as strategic partners of economic cooperation.
China ranks as ASEAN’s biggest trade partner, and ASEAN as China’s third-biggest trade partner. The bilateral trade value between them stood at US$126 billion in 2014, up from 14 billion in 2013.
Among regional partners, China was the first country for ASEAN to sign a free trade agreement called the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.
The vice president said that his country recognised China’s important role to play in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), which he said would facilitate closer economic cooperation between the two sides.  The China-proposed project called the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would enhance much-needed infrastructural development in the establishment of the ASEAN Community as part of the master plan. Known as the “One Belt, One Road”, the Silk Road has now attracted 57 countries, most of which are along its route. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is expected to be of great assistance to the implementation of the master plan.
China will contribute $40 billion for countries along the Silk Road to undertake projects in areas including infrastructure, resources and industrial and financial cooperation.
Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham also witnessed the opening of Myanmar Commodity Hall at the same venue.
Myanmar has more than 80 booths at the trade fair displaying a variety of local products.
The vice president also visited a Chinese Buddhist monastery, the cultural museum and the Myanmar consulate in Nanning.

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