Nanning, September 9 (ZXS) -- How can the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" empower ASEAN to build a center of economic growth?

China News Agency reporter Yang Chen

ASEAN had just proposed to become a global economic growth center in early September, and at the 9th China-ASEAN Expo (referred to as the East Expo), it showed its emphasis on the platform of the East Expo and its expectation of improving the quality of cooperation with China with its large-scale participation and rapid recovery to the pre-epidemic level.

On September 9, the 16th China-ASEAN Expo opened in Nanning, Guangxi. Photo by China News Agency reporter Chen Guanyan

The mutual demand is firmly based

From September 9th to 16th, the East Expo was held in Nanning, Guangxi. Seven ASEAN countries, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, resumed their private pavilions, and more brand enterprises participated than in previous years.

Zhang Jianping, vice chairman of the China Socio-economic System Analysis and Research Association, believes that the trade scale between China and ASEAN is expected to exceed $1 trillion this year. The rapid recovery of the scale of ASEAN exhibitions shows that the economic and trade relations between China and ASEAN are very complementary, the mutual demand foundation is solid, and the trade potential is rapidly being released.

Relevant data predict that ASEAN's average economic growth rate will reach 2023.4% in 7 and accelerate to 2024% in 5, both higher than the global average growth level.

Xu Ningning, executive director of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said that under the promotion of the East Expo, China and ASEAN have become important investment partners of each other. In the past 10 years since the "Belt and Road" initiative was proposed, the East Expo has played a major role in promoting the joint construction of the "Belt and Road", and promoted cooperation in trade, investment and connectivity between China and ASEAN countries. At present, China and the 10 ASEAN countries have signed a consensus document on jointly building the "Belt and Road", and this year's East Expo has also set up a "Belt and Road" exhibition area to hold related special activities. All this will greatly promote the construction of the "Belt and Road" and thus promote the rapid economic development of ASEAN.

On September 9, people visited the Thailand Pavilion of the 16th China-ASEAN Expo. Photo by China News Agency reporter Chen Guanyan

The joint construction of the "Belt and Road" has become a key variable

In mid-September, the first cross-border smart port project between China and Vietnam started construction in Pingxiang, Guangxi, and the two sides will cooperate to build a dedicated channel for intelligent cross-border freight to achieve all-weather intelligent customs clearance of goods.

This is another measure taken by China and ASEAN to promote the deep connection of industrial chain and supply chain, and it is also a vivid practice of jointly building the "Belt and Road" facility connectivity and smooth trade. In addition, in the past 10 years, interconnection projects such as the China-Laos Railway, Indonesia's Yawan High-speed Railway, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor have been smoothly advanced, reducing logistics costs for bilateral cooperation, and will also play a greater role in the economic and social development of ASEAN countries and benefit more local people.

"Active integration into the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative is a key variable in the rapid economic growth of ASEAN countries, allowing ASEAN to deeply participate in the division of labor in the global value chain and effectively play its comparative advantages." Hu Chao, dean of the School of Economics of Guangxi University for Nationalities, said that under the "Belt and Road" initiative, China and ASEAN countries have jointly discussed and shared construction and sharing, and set up a certain number of overseas parks in ASEAN countries. These parks have not only become a distribution center for Chinese enterprises to invest in ASEAN countries, but also attracted enterprises from ASEAN countries and other countries to settle in, greatly promoting the economic growth of ASEAN countries.

Connectivity brings logistics and industry

The closer alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development plans of ASEAN countries will enable ASEAN to better empower ASEAN to become a hub of economic growth.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Trung proposed when participating in the East Expo that it is necessary to strengthen the docking of "two corridors and one circle" and the "Belt and Road" and deepen cooperation between Vietnam and China in agriculture, economy and trade, finance, humanities and other fields. ASEAN and China should also strengthen cooperation in transport infrastructure, so that railway connectivity can radiate to ASEAN countries, so that ASEAN goods can be transported to Europe and Central Asia through China's railways.

In fact, as an important part of the construction of the "Belt and Road", the new international land-sea trade channel has effectively connected China's land-sea combined transport advantages with the land transport needs of ASEAN countries and the maritime transportation needs of Central Asian countries, helping Central Asian countries to open up faster access to ASEAN to the sea, and helping ASEAN countries to directly reach Central Asia and Europe through sea-rail combined transport.

Lei Xiaohua, chief expert of the Southeast Asian and International Issues Research and Innovation Team of the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, said in an interview with China News Agency that the new international land-sea trade channel has promoted trade and investment between China and ASEAN and five countries in China and Central Asia. This channel is not only a logistics channel, but also a large corridor of industrial integration. Channels bring logistics, logistics brings economy and trade, and economy and trade bring industry, which is the most direct empowerment for ASEAN's economic growth by jointly building the "Belt and Road".

Bai Ming, member of the Academic Degrees Committee of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce of China, said that the "Belt and Road" initiative has helped ASEAN to upgrade connectivity, reduce trade and investment barriers, further relax the conditions for zero tariffs, and promote mutual cooperation and mutual benefit among partners. In the future, ASEAN can optimize the industrial chain and supply chain through the institutional open platform of liberalization and facilitation, and release more common development dividends, so as to truly become a global economic growth center. (End)