Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

The 12th China-ASEAN Expo opened in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on September 18.

The four-day expo, with the theme "creating a new blueprint for maritime cooperation" , saw the participation of over 2,200 companies from China and Southeast Asian countries .

Initiated in 2004, it serves as an important platform to promote bilateral trade and relationships between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN).

China is ASEAN's largest trading partner, while ASEAN is China's third-largest trading partner.

Bilateral trade between China and the bloc expanded 8.23 percent year on year to 480 billion U SD in 2014.-VNA