Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– China will continue supporting the building
of the ASEAN Community, while prioritising bilateral trade partnership with the
ASEAN member countries, stated Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.

Addressing the 16th consultation of ASEAN and Chinese
economic ministers on September 8 within the framework of the ASEAN Economic
Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Manila, the Philippines, Chinese
Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan noted of sound cooperation between ASEAN and
China in economics and trade.

He said that ASEAN is the third largest trade partner of China in the
past six executive years, while China has maintained its position as the top
trade partner of the association in the past eight years.

Foreign direct investment between the two sides reached 185 billion USD,
and the China-ASEAN free trade agreement is being effectively implemented, he

Zhong also proposed a number of measures to foster cooperation with
ASEAN. He affirmed that Beijing is willing to expand collaboration with the
association in various fields, while continuing its efforts to strengthen
infrastructure connectivity between the two sides.

He also said that
China will strengthen mutual support with ASEAN to reduce the development gap
in the ASEAN region, enhancing national development capacity, fueling regional
economic growth and promoting the ASEAN community building.-VNA