In 2020, China and ASEAN further intensified their economic and trade exchanges and cooperation, overcoming various difficulties, striving to take off, and achieving remarkable breakthroughs, becoming a rare bright spot in the global economy. The China-ASEAN Report and the China-ASEAN Business Council jointly selected the top ten news about economic and trade cooperation between the two sides in 2020, hoping that readers can get a glimpse of the magnificent achievements of China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation.
- For the first time, China and ASEAN are each other’s largest trading partners
Under the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN has not fallen but increased. According to China Customs statistics, in 2020, the import and export volume between China and ASEAN is 4.74 trillion yuan, an increase of 7% year-on-year. ASEAN has historically become China’s largest trading partner, forming a mutual largest trading partner between China and ASEAN. Good pattern.
2.China and ASEAN jointly promote the signing of the RCEP agreement
In November 2020, the ten ASEAN countries and 15 countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand formally signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), marking the official conclusion of the world’s largest free trade agreement. The signing of RCEP is an important step for regional countries to maintain the multilateral trading system and build an open world economy with practical actions. It is of symbolic significance for deepening regional economic integration and stabilizing the global economy.
3.China-ASEAN digital economy cooperation is in the ascendant
On June 12, the opening ceremony of the 2020 China-ASEAN Digital Economy Cooperation Year was held. In the year of cooperation, with the theme of Collecting Intelligence and Strength to Fight the Epidemic, Mutual Benefit, Win-win and Development, a series of activities were held in the fields of smart cities, big data, artificial intelligence, etc., to further strengthen cooperation in the field of digital economy, and share digital anti-epidemic, With experience in digital infrastructure construction and digital transformation, continue to improve the communication mechanism and share the dividends of digital economy development.
- The Belt and Road project in the ASEAN region moves forward
In 2020, many Belt and Road projects in the ASEAN region have moved forward and achieved remarkable achievements. In Indonesia, the Bandung Expressway and the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project were successfully constructed during the epidemic, and the Friendship Tunnel, the cross-border tunnel of the China-Laos Railway, was successfully completed in September. The approval of the master plan of Cambodia’s new international airport in Siem Reap will bring more development opportunities for Cambodia.
- The Lancang-Mekong cooperation has made great progress in linking up the new international land-sea trade channel
The “New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor” runs through the western region of China, connecting Southeast Asia and Eurasia. The land-sea agglomeration and regional linkage effects are prominent. The Lancang-Mekong cooperation and the “new international land-sea trade channel” will further unblock trade channels, mobilize the power of western China, southwestern China and other ASEAN countries, achieve greater investment in Mekong countries, further optimize resource allocation, and maintain industrial chain supply The chain is stable and promotes coordinated development.
- China-ASEAN cooperation in fighting the epidemic has injected strong momentum into bilateral relations.
During the epidemic prevention and control period, the Chinese and ASEAN governments and people united and helped each other to overcome difficulties, deepened cooperation in the field of public health, and became a model of global solidarity in fighting the epidemic. Chinese companies have carried out extensive cooperation with pharmaceutical companies in ASEAN countries. In addition to supplying vaccines at the procurement level, China has also transferred upstream technologies such as vaccine R&D and production to them, which will help improve local vaccine production capacity and is a strong support for regional anti-epidemic cooperation .
- China-Cambodia free trade agreement signed
On October 12, China and Cambodia formally signed a free trade agreement. The China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement is the first free trade agreement to establish a separate chapter for cooperation on the “Belt and Road” initiative. The two sides agreed to deepen cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure, investment, and economic corridors, and encourage enterprises of the two countries to carry out cooperation in trade, investment, production capacity and environmental protection.
- The growth of China-ASEAN investment cooperation exceeds expectations
In 2020, China’s direct investment in ASEAN’s entire industry was US$14.36 billion, a year-on-year increase of 52.1%, and ASEAN’s actual investment in China was US$7.95 billion, a year-on-year increase of 1.0%. ASEAN has become a key area for Chinese enterprises to invest abroad, and has played an active role in promoting economic recovery in the region and stimulating employment.
- China and ASEAN countries establish a “fast channel” for personnel exchanges
On June 8, China and Singapore launched a fast channel to facilitate the exchanges of necessary business and civil servants between the two countries. Subsequently, fast channels between China and Indonesia, Laos and other ASEAN countries have also been opened, which has become a normalization of epidemic prevention and control. China and ASEAN countries resume exchanges and cooperation and support important measures to resume work and production.
- The China-ASEAN Expo was successfully held
From November 27 to 30, the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit were successfully held. With the theme of Building the Belt and Road and Prospering the Digital Economy Together, this event fully demonstrated the achievements of China-ASEAN joint efforts to fight the new crown pneumonia epidemic, and comprehensively deepened China-ASEAN friendly relations and exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as economy and trade. During the exhibition, a dialogue meeting between the Communist Party of China and the political parties of Southeast Asian countries and a special forum on the 10th anniversary of the completion of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area were held to promote the construction of a China-ASEAN community with a shared future.
Source: China – ASEAN Business Council