The 2013 ASEAN-China Expo (CAEXPO 2013) and the 10th ASEAN-China Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) are to open in Nanning city, China’s Guangxi province on Sept. 3, marking 10 years of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership.

The annual CAEXPO was first held in 2004 under the Chinese government’s initiative with the consensus of ASEAN member countries at the seventh ASEAN-China Summit.

After nine expos, ASEAN-China bilateral trade increased remarkably, from 57.76 billion USD in 2002 to 401 billion USD in 2012, posting an annual growth of 22 percent. China is now ASEAN’s largest trade partner while ASEAN is China’s third largest partner.

Two-way investment flow also grew to exceed 70 billion USD. In 2009 and 2011, China provided 25 billion USD in loans to ASEAN, of which 10 billion USD being preferential credits.

Vietnam has always led all participants in CAEXPO in terms of displaying scale, with about 100 businesses running between 150-200 booths at every event. The country normally brings to the event its agricultural produce such as coffee and rice, as well as processing food, fine arts, consumer goods and tourism and trade services.

At CAEXPO last year, Vietnamese businesses struck deals worth more than 90 million USD with foreign partners.

Over the past decade, the growing Chinese economy with 1.3 billion people has brought practical benefit to all ASEAN countries, creating a driving force for the bloc’s economy.

The ASEAN’s economy is forecast to expand by 5.9 percent and China, over 7 percent in 2013. The two partners are expected to lift their bilateral trade to 500 billion USD in 2015.

With the active participation of ASEAN states and China’s support, the relations between China and ASEAN are expected to develop further, advancing towards an economic linkage mechanism covering the entire East Asia. The trend is reflected in efforts made by concerned parties, including China, to accelerate the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

This year’s CAEXPO is themed “Regional Cooperation and Development: New Opportunities, New Impetus and New Stage,” with the aim to fully tap ASEAN-China great cooperation potential, thus lifting their trade ties to a new height.-VNA