Thai Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations Auramon Supthaweethum (Photo: thainews.prd.go.th)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) – ASEAN recorded a 13 percent increase in trade with dialogue partner countries last year, with China declared the top trader in the region. 

Thai Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations Auramon Supthaweethum revealed on September 11 that the ASEAN Secretariat had released a report on the value of trade and investment between ASEAN and its key partners in 2017.

She said the report indicated a rise of 13 percent in trade value with the six free trade agreement (FTA) partners, accounting for 37 percent of the bloc’s total trade with the world. Trade with China was highest in value, exceeding 441 billion USD, an increase of about 19 percent. 

As for foreign direct investment in 2017, the largest investor in ASEAN was the European Union, followed by Japan and China. Investment by India also made an impressive leap of over 9,000 percent to reach a value of 1.8 billion USD. 

Meanwhile, ASEAN’s trade with Thailand posted a growth rate of 700 percent. The robust expansion was due to benefits from the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) for the country’s exports of vehicles, car parts and accessories, electrical appliances and electronics, rice, rubber and sugar, as well as tourism, hotel stays, restaurant dining and health businesses.-NNT/VNA