Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– China will continue supporting the building of the ASEAN Community, while prioritising bilateral trade partnership with the ASEAN member countries, stated Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.

Addressing the 16th consultation of ASEAN and Chinese economic ministers on September 8 within the framework of the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting and related meetings in Manila, the Philippines, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan noted of sound cooperation between ASEAN and China in economics and trade.

He said that ASEAN is the third largest trade partner of China in the past six executive years, while China has maintained its position as the top trade partner of the association in the past eight years.

Foreign direct investment between the two sides reached 185 billion USD, and the China-ASEAN free trade agreement is being effectively implemented, he added.

Zhong also proposed a number of measures to foster cooperation with ASEAN. He affirmed that Beijing is willing to expand collaboration with the association in various fields, while continuing its efforts to strengthen infrastructure connectivity between the two sides.

He also said that China will strengthen mutual support with ASEAN to reduce the development gap in the ASEAN region, enhancing national development capacity, fueling regional economic growth and promoting the ASEAN community building.-VNA