Vietnam has become China’s second largest ASEAN trade partner in 2014, only after Malaysia, the China-ASEAN Business Council (CABC)’s report revealed on January 30.

According to the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) Q4 Report, China’s trade with Vietnam recorded a growth rate of 27.73 percent while that with Myanmar hit 146 percent.

The total trade between China and the ASEAN countries in 2014 accounted for 11.16 percent of China’s overall foreign trade volume, an increase of 10.66 percent against 2013.

CABC Executive Director-General Xu Ningning said the bilateral trade rose by 8.3 percent to 480.4 billion USD last year. Of the figure, China imported 208.3 billion USD worth of commodities from the ASEAN partners, up 4.4 percent, whilst its exports topped 272 billion USD, up 11.5 percent.

However, the downward trends recorded in the two-way investments during the period. ASEAN total investments to China fell 23.8 percent to 6.51 billion USD whilst China’s decreased by 18.88 percent to 5.98 billion USD.

The report forecasted that the China-ASEAN trade will continue to be a key driver of Asia economic growth as the global economy is recovering.

Furthermore, bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the ASEAN-China FTA appeared to be very promising with the finalisation of FTA upgrading negotiation and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as well as the conduct of ASEAN-China Year of Maritime Cooperation by the end of 2015.

Both sides expect a 500 billion USD two-way trade in 2015 and an additional 150 billion USD investments by 2020.

CABC also released the 7th famous brand list of ASEAN and China which recommends 30 prestigious enterprises of both sides in the fields of food, pharmaceuticals, machines and equipment, electronic and construction products in a bid to help local firms expand markets and cooperation in the region.-VNA