China-ASEAN Expo opens in south China’s Nanning

Photo grabbed from CCTV video

NANNING CITY, South China (CCTV) — The 14th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit opened in Nanning, capital of south China’ s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Tuesday.

Themed “jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and boosting regional economic integration through tourism,” the four-day expo is held at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center.

Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen were among the foreign dignitaries attending the opening ceremony.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony, saying the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, has attracted more than 100 countries and international organizations to its implementation.

“The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by China, but benefits the whole world. China and ASEAN countries are good neighbors, good partners and good friends, linked by mountains, rivers and blood relationship. We enjoy favorable timing, geographical convenience and support of people in co-building the Belt and Road,” added Zhang.

“Great progress has been made in promoting policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, trade growth, financing liberalization, and people-to-people exchanges. The ancient Maritime Silk Road has regained its vitality,” Zhang added.

The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa through the ancient trading routes, bringing benefits to all countries along the routes.

Peng Qinghua, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) committee of Guangxi and Jiang Zengwei, head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, spoke at the opening ceremony, calling for joint efforts to build a closer China-ASEAN community of common destiny.

Eight countries of the 10-member ASEAN — namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam — set up their pavilions at the expo, which covers an exhibition space of 124,000 square meters with 6,600 booths.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and also the China-ASEAN tourism cooperation year.

Initiated in 2004, the expo is important in trade and relations between China and ASEAN as China is ASEAN’s largest trade partner.