The ministers of trade and economics from Southeast Asian countries have participated in the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Roadshow in Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing, China, from October 22-26.

A number of trade and investment promotion seminars were held as part of the event, drawing great interest from Chinese officials and businesspeople.

Addressing the meeting with ASEAN ministers in Beijing on October 25, Deputy Premier Wang Yang stated that China and ASEAN are important cooperative partners.

He added that China is ready to kick start negotiations on the upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA).

At a press conference reviewing the event, Chinese Trade Minister Gao Hucheng affirmed that trade and investment cooperation between China and ASEAN has grown hugely.

China is ASEAN’s largest partner while ASEAN is China’s thirst largest. Both sides have set up the largest free trade area in terms of population and the third largest in terms of GDP in the world.

In the past nine months, two-way trade between China and ASEAN hit 322.36 billion USD, an increase of 11.6 percent. By the end of August, two sides’ investment neared 110 billion USD.-VNA