Focus on cooperation with ASEAN
 updatetime:2011-08-12 01:58:39   View:0 Source:China Daily

Editor's note: The Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in Southwest China has made some progress in social and economic development in the past five years. Its major economic indicators - regional GDP, per-capita GDP, revenues, industrial added value - in 2010, were double the 2005 figures.

There have been advances in the following areas: the Beibu Gulf economic zone has become a national strategic program; work has begun on the Xijiang waterway system; there has been unity among ethnic groups; the standard of living is improving; it has held the China-ASEAN trade and investment summit, Pan-Beibu Gulf economic cooperation forum, and other events; and vegetation covers 58 percent of the region.

Other achievements are still in the making in the region.

The Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region is leveraging its geographical location to develop economic and trade relations with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members.

Its China-ASEAN free trade zone, set up in 2010, is expected to help increase those relations with Southeast Asian countries and give Guangxi new advantages in its domestic and international competition.

To take advantage of the situation, it has a strategy that gives priority to the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone and lets Guangxi play a unique role in operating the free trade zone.

ASEAN has been Guangxi's biggest trade partner 10 years running and there is still momentum in their exchanges and investment, service trade, education and cultural cooperation.

Bilateral trade with ASEAN was worth $6.53 billion in 2010, a growth of 31.9 percent from 2009. Exports to ASEAN countries were worth $4.59 billion of that, up 27.1 percent, while imports from ASEAN nations showed a 45.1-percent increase. ASEAN remains Guangxi's biggest export market.

This year is the China-ASEAN dialogue mechanism's 20th anniversary and Guangxi has been a frontier for cooperation between China and ASEAN.

The establishment of China-ASEAN free trade zone marked the start of a post-tariff era, and trade between the two looks set to grow even faster.

This is the third largest free trade zone in the world and the biggest free trade zone made up of developing countries.

Total population of this free trade zone is 1.9 billion, and the GDP, about $6 trillion, while total trade volume stands at about $4.5 trillion.

With the increase in the volume of trade, reciprocal investment is growing as well. Many Chinese companies from the interior see Guangxi as a good way to enter the ASEAN market.

Huang Gang, a Beihai Jingguang Electronics Co executive, has explained that his company moved its manufacturing base from Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, westward to Beihai, on the Beibu Gulf in Guangxi, to explore the ASEAN markets.

The free trade zone has also helped the integration of regional economic and financial systems, and has helped Guangxi's financial institutions go global.

The Guangxi Beibu Gulf Bank, the region's first shareholding bank tailored to the free trade zone's needs, has expanded its services to new areas such as overseas investment and foreign direct investment.

The bank has good relations with 66 foreign financial institutions, and, in ASEAN nations alone, has agent relations with 32 banks.

The bank is preparing to set up its first representative office in Hanoi, Vietnam, according to the bank's governor Zhao Xijun, who explains, "Our bank is vigorously implementing an 'expand into ASEAN nations' strategy."

By the end of 2010, cross-border trade settled in yuan exceeded 12.6 billion yuan ($1.94 billion), putting it on top of China's eight border provinces and autonomous regions, while cross-border exports settled in yuan amounted to 9.3 billion, putting it in first place in the country.

 

Web Editor:黄媛03