The eighth China -ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO-2011) themed, “Cooperation in environmental protection” kicked off in the southwestern city of Nanning in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China on Oct. 21.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc leads a Vietnamese delegation to take part in the event, which sees the participation of 3,000 enterprises from ASEAN countries, China and other countries and territories.

Vietnam is the largest ASEAN exhibitor, with 192 exhibition stalls from 120 businesses, introducing agricultural products, foodstuff, wooden furniture, handicrafts and consumer products, tourism products and trade services.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said at the opening ceremony that since the establishment of China-ASEAN relations 20 years ago, China and ASEAN have advanced friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas, especially in the economic and trade arenas.

At present, China is the largest trade partner of ASEAN, while ASEAN is the third largest partner of China .

CAEXPO was an initiative of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced at the 7 th ASEAN-China Summit in 2003, aiming to promote the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) along with mutual prosperity.

ASEAN is made up of Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam. /.