An overview of sixth ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting on SPS Cooperation (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The sixth ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (SPS) Cooperation was held in Hanoi on October 12.

The meeting is held biennially to intensify dialogue and cooperation on SPS and boost the trading of agricultural products between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.

Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that over the past three decades, the bilateral partnership has been expanded to numerous fields, in which the SPS cooperation plays an important role with many activities being implemented to facilitate the flow and trading of agricultural products between the two sides.

Last year, ASEAN-China trade made a record high of nearly 515 billion USD, with food and farm produce being an important contributor.

Since the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was formed in 2010, two-way trade has posted an annual average growth rate of nearly 20 percent. China is currently ASEAN’s largest trade partner, and the bloc is the former’s third biggest trader, Cuong said.

He stressed that this year’s meeting offered a chance for both sides to review their cooperation results in the past two years and approve an action plan for the next two years as well as preparing for the making of a memorandum of understanding on SPS cooperation in a new period in order to better facilitate the implementation of the ACFTA agreement.

The minister also appreciated China’s assistance for ASEAN and its organisation of activities to share information and increase the ASEAN’s capacity in quality supervision, inspection, and quarantine.–VNA