A number of Chinese experts, scholars and business representatives gathered at a forum in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province on November 23 to seek ways to further penetrate the ASEAN market and discuss issues related to the building of free trade areas.

Participants exchanged opinions on how to strengthen the economic development between China and ASEAN and propel the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) strategy.

Speaking at the event, President of the China-ASEAN Association Gu Xiulian urged China to actively participate in multi-lateral trade partnership negotiations in the region as well as help build international trade rules of a higher standard to have a greater voice in global economic institutions.

China has to date signed nine agreements on FTA building with 17 Asian, Latin American, Oceania and European nations, which occupy 12 percent of China’s total foreign trade turnover.

Two-way trade between China and ASEAN hit 493 billion USD last year, a 50-fold increase since the two sides set up their dialogue relationship in 1991.-VNA