【ASEAN Line】(The 20th East Expo) What has changed in the 20 years since the East Expo was held?

Nanning, 9 September (ZXS) -- Question: What has changed in the 17 years since the East Expo was held?

China News Agency reporter Jiang Xuelin

The 20th China-ASEAN Expo (referred to as the "East Expo"), co-sponsored by the economic and trade departments of the Chinese and ASEAN governments and the ASEAN Secretariat, was held in Nanning from September 9 to 16, and the opening meeting was held on the 19th. Overseas merchants fully resumed offline participation.

This year is the 20th year of the East Expo and the 10th anniversary of the "Belt and Road" initiative, looking back on the past 20 years, what has this important regional international exhibition brought to the people of China and ASEAN? How does it affect cooperation between China and ASEAN?

September 9, Nanning, Guangxi, China-ASEAN Expo site. On the same day, the 16th China-ASEAN Expo was held in Nanning, and the exhibition will close on September 20. Photo by China News Agency reporter Jiang Xuelin

Personal life: East Expo paves the way for cross-border connections

Duan Haiyun, a young woman from Vietnam, completed the relevant documents for participating in the 9th East Expo on September 14, and she will help Vietnamese merchants sell agarwood at the Vietnam Commodity Pavilion.

This is her second time participating in the East Expo, her husband is from Guangxi, and the couple currently live in Nanning. "After the East Expo settled in Nanning, Guangxi, its influence increased year by year, and my husband saw the prospects for cooperation between China and ASEAN, so he chose to study in Vietnam, so we had the fate of acquaintance." Duan Haiyun said that the East Expo has allowed her to find a lot of business opportunities, and she wants to use the East Expo as a platform to do cross-border business between China and Vietnam.

Like Duan Haiyun, Zhong Qingxin from Malaysia is also married to a native of Guangxi. After the East Expo settled in Nanning, Guangxi, Guangxi and ASEAN countries became closer, which also gave Zhong Qingxin and her husband Gong Cheng the opportunity to meet in Malaysia and start a romantic transnational love. The East Expo has been held in Nanning for a long time, and the demand for non-lingua franca talents in ASEAN countries is increasing, so Zhong Qingxin has the opportunity to work in Guangxi and work as a Malaysian language teacher at Guangxi International Business Vocational and Technical College.

The close economic and trade exchanges have led to the hot demand for non-lingua franca talents in ASEAN, and many universities in Guangxi have teachers from ASEAN countries to teach. One such example is Duwady Town, who came to Guangxi, China, in 2008 and was employed by Guangxi University for Nationalities to teach Burmese. In 2012, Duwady was awarded the "Golden Hydrangea" award by the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is the highest honorary award awarded by Guangxi to experts from abroad who come to work in Guizhou.

September 9, Nanning, Guangxi, China-ASEAN Expo site. On the same day, the 16th China-ASEAN Expo was held in Nanning, and the exhibition will close on September 20. Photo by Yu Jing, reporter of the China News Agency

Enterprise development: East Expo will achieve the dream of wealth

The East Expo changed the life trajectory of ASEAN people such as Duan Shipping, Zhong Qingxin, and Duwady Town, and also fulfilled the wealth dreams of many enterprises.

"The holding of the China-ASEAN Expo provides a good platform for us to develop the ASEAN agricultural machinery market, and for more than 10 years, I have participated in the East Expo and its series of activities every year and met many ASEAN customers. According to their needs, we have developed efficient and intelligent agricultural machinery and equipment especially for oil palm plantations, which effectively improve local labor productivity and reduce production costs, and our products are very popular in ASEAN countries such as Indonesia. Wang Lianqi, chairman of Guangxi Hepu County Huilaibo Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd., said in an interview with reporters.

Founded in 2008, this private enterprise currently has an annual output capacity of more than 1,10 sets of agricultural machinery, and its products are exported to more than <> countries and regions along the "Belt and Road".

Through the East Expo platform, not only Chinese enterprises have realized their wealth dreams, but also enterprises in ASEAN countries have also developed their business in China through the East Expo. "Since the first East Expo, I have not only participated in the East Expo in Singapore's investment promotion exhibition, publicity and promotion, VIP invitation, etc., learned a lot of business opportunities, invested in the construction of the China-Singapore Logistics Park in Nanning, and built the China-ASEAN Characteristic Commodities Convergence Center together with the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat." Zhao Haiyan, chairman of Singapore's Yijiacheng Group Co., Ltd., said in an interview with reporters.

Thailand's Tencel Group looks at the "Nanning Channel" formed by the Middle East Expo settled in Nanning. Xu Xinxiong, CEO of the group, said: "The 'Nanning Channel' has brought us great development opportunities. In 2023, the Group chose to invest RMB 13.<> billion in Nanning to build a Red Bull beverage production base. The Group will take advantage of the international stage of the East Expo to expand the two major markets of China and ASEAN and deepen Red Bull's business in China. ”

Regional cooperation: The East Expo helps strategic mutual trust

Over the past 20 years, the East Expo has not only benefited individuals and enterprises, but also promoted China-ASEAN strategic mutual trust and all-round exchanges and cooperation. Ge Hongliang, deputy dean of the ASEAN College of Guangxi University for Nationalities, said that the China-ASEAN Expo, the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and their series of activities have raised the strategic mutual trust between China and ASEAN to a new height in the past 20 years.

Ge Hongliang said that the platform value of the East Expo surpasses the pure exhibition. Through the East Expo, exchanges between Chinese and ASEAN leaders, local officials, bilateral non-governmental organizations, scholars and think tanks have also been strengthened. The role of the East Expo in promoting bilateral political mutual trust is immeasurable.

Xu Ningning, executive chairman of the China-ASEAN Business Council and chairman of the RCEP Industrial Cooperation Committee, also believes that over the past 20 years, the annual East Expo has played a major strategic supporting role in deepening China-ASEAN cooperation and the development of China-ASEAN good-neighborly and friendly relations.

For the future, Ge Hongliang and Xu Ningning both expressed optimistic expectations. "Because China and ASEAN already have a stable value chain and supply chain foundation, the two economies will further cooperate on what they need, and the East Expo will still play an indispensable role." Ge Hongliang said. (End)