Photo: VCG

The 16th China-ASEAN Expo commenced Saturday in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, highlighting trade and investment among China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Themed “Building the Belt & Road, Realizing Our Vision for a Community of Shared Future,” this year’s expo will lift the all-round friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN through a sequence of exhibitions, forums and activities to a new level.

Focusing on the China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, the four-day event will aim at facilitating cooperation and consensus among high-profile participants from various countries and international organizations.

Exhibitions and activities at the expo are expected to promote China-ASEAN cooperation in fields including trade, investment, digital economy, science and technology, finance, e-commerce and tourism.

According to the organizers, 2,848 enterprises will participate in this year’s expo to showcase their products, up 2.4 percent from the event last year, including industry leaders, Fortune 500 companies and notable private businesses.

The expo participants will enjoy larger exhibition areas this year, which have expanded 10,000 square meters from last year to 134,000 square meters.

Special exhibitions on building the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, Guangxi pilot free trade zone and the financial opening-up gateway for ASEAN will also be featured at the expo to advance the implementation of key mechanisms and projects.

The China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, a concurrent event, will be held from Saturday to Tuesday.

The expo has boosted China-ASEAN trade since its inception in 2004. China has expanded its exports of electronic products, construction materials, power equipment and construction machines, as well as technology in new energy, high-speed trains and agriculture to ASEAN member states. Chinese buyers favor the bloc’s food, daily goods and bulk commodities.

China has remained ASEAN’s largest trading partner, with the trade between the two increasing to 587.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. In the first half of this year, bilateral import and export trade volume reached 291.85 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 4.2 percent year-on-year, making ASEAN China’s second-largest trading partner.