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New Sino-ASEAN Trade Portal Discussed at Forum in Nanning

The 10th Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum got underway Thursday in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, to discuss construction of a new portal for Sino-ASEAN trade by road and sea.

Pan-Beibu Gulf economic cooperation refers to China's cooperation with members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Sino-ASEAN cooperation. The forum aims to foster talks between ministers and governors from different countries, to optimize infrastructure facilities, open more access to global trade and promote international cooperation.

"The forum has become a major sub-regional cooperation event as well as one of the most dynamic, substantive and fruitful exchanges under the framework of China-ASEAN cooperation," said Zhai Kun, director of the ASEAN countries research center of Peking University.

Achievements have been made in fields such as finance, tourism, culture and cross-border trade among the countries and regions in recent years, Zhai said.

A Vietnamese counselor said they expected to establish more cooperation with ASEAN countries in climate change, environmental protection and water resource usage.

The total trade value between Sino and ASEAN reached $514.8 billion last year, about four times higher than the figure in 2006, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

Since 2006, the forum has accomplished many achievements.

The second forum put forward the idea to realize mutual-benefit with practical and progressive steps and an open and transparent environment.

The fifth forum proposed to build a Nanning-Singapore economic channel with efforts made to facilitate passenger and cargo transportation in countries along the channel.

This year's event hosted three sub-forums — China-ASEAN Port Cities Cooperation Network Work Conference, China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor Development Forum and PBG Think Tank Summit.

The sub-forums aimed to reach consensus on how to further construct the cooperation networks of China-ASEAN port cities, how to build the China-Indochina peninsula economic corridor, and how to make insights shared at the PBG Think Tank Summit a reality.

The forum also released a report for a new model of improving China-ASEAN land and maritime development.