Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh attended the opening ceremony of the first China-South Asia Expo and the 21st China Import & Export Fair which opened in Kunming city, Yunnan province on June 6.

Chinese Deputy Premier Ma Kai and other leaders of Southeast and South Asian countries also attended the event.

Speaking at the event, Deputy PM Ninh said that through 20 successfully-organised events, the Kunming fair has become one of the most attractive fairs in China for Vietnamese businesses.

The combined organisation of the China-South Asia Expo and the China Import & Export Fair helps tighten economic and trade cooperation between China and other regional nations, he said.

It also offers the chance for Vietnamese businesses to boost cooperation with their peers in China and other South Asian countries, Ninh added.

The Vietnamese leader pointed out that in recent years, Vietnam-China economic ties have grown steadily. China remains Vietnam’s largest trade partner with 2012 import-export turnover reaching 41.1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 15.2 percent. Two-way trade between Yunnan and Vietnam’s localities also exceeded 1 billion USD last year.

The five-day event attracts the participation of 1,200 businesses from 43 countries and territories. Vietnam brings more than 180 booths to the fair, the largest number among participating ASEAN countries, focusing on handicrafts, food, beverages and footwear.-VNA