NANNING, China, Sept 21 (Bernama) -- China and Asean should work more vigorously to improve on the Free Trade Area (FTA) development, Vice President Xi Jinping said here on Friday.
Xi made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the 9th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit and 2012 Forum on China-Asean Free Trade Area in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
It has just been less than three years since the launch of the China-Asean FTA. This arrangement, covering 1.9 billion people, has laid a solid foundation for Asean-centered regional integration and cooperation, Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
"We hope that the two sides will continue to implement the various FTA agreements, further improve on trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, and optimise the mix of import and export commodities, so as to meet, as scheduled, the trade volume target of US$500 billion by 2015," Xi said.
He called on both sides to take the current China-Asean science and technology cooperation year as the opportunity to strengthen economic and technological cooperation within the FTA framework, promote policy awareness and capacity building, and raise the use rate of preferential policies.
Both sides should deepen industrial cooperation and improve intra-regional allocation of resources, and expand the FTA coverage by acting in a spirit of openness, inclusion, equality and mutual benefit, he said, adding that the China-Asean commodity trade centres in Nanning, Guangxi and Yiwu, Zhejiang are new platforms that Asean companies can use to promote their products and increase their share in the Chinese market.