The China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), which has turned into the 11th year this year, constitutes the fruits of the two sides’ strategic partnership, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

The Vietnamese official was speaking at the CAEXPO’s opening ceremony in China ’s Nanning city on September 16, which also saw the attendance of the host country’s Deputy Premier Zhang Gaoli , Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong , and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, among others.

He pinned his hope on the application of regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) between ASEAN, China and other partners, which is, though, being negotiated.

It will facilitate freer flows of goods, services, investments and human resources as well, creating integration-driven value chains and contributing to maintaining peace and stability for economic development in the region, he said.

Minh called for closer coordination between the bloc and China to maintain peace, stability and navigation safety in the East Sea as well as implementing fully and seriously the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and quickening the creation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Themed “jointly build maritime silk road of the 21st century”, the annual expo has drawn 2,330 businesses showcasing their products and services at 4,600 booths. This year, Vietnam ’s pavilion boasts 200 booths of products displayed by 100 businesses, the largest number among the bloc’s members.

The expo is jointly held by China ’s Ministry of Trade and the 10 ASEAN member countries, constituting one of the top ten Chinese exhibitions and an important mechanism to promote friendship and trade links between ASEAN member states and China .

The 11 th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit also kicked off the same day. Initiated in 2004, the annual high-level forum aims to boost ASEAN-China strategic partnership and accelerate the establishment of an ASEAN-China free trade area.

ASEAN groups Indonesia , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand , Brunei , Cambodia , Laos , Myanmar and Vietnam.-VNA