BEIJING, Sept. 15(Xinhuanet)-- The trade volume between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) grew 25 percent in the first half of this year to 59.76 billion US dollars, making ASEAN the fourth largest trade partner of China.
Fu Ziying, assistant to Minister of Commerce, made the remarks Thursday at a press conference on preparations for the second China-ASEAN Expo.
The China-ASEAN trade volume increased by 50 billion US dollars since the two sides initiated a free trade zone in 2002, making ASEAN the fifth largest export market of China and the fourth largest source for imports, Fu said.
The bilateral trade registered an annual growth of 38.9 percent in the 2002-2004 period, reaching 105.9 billion US dollars in 2004, one year ahead of schedule to attain the goal of 100 billion US dollars.
Chinese President Hu Jintao urged China-ASEAN trade to reach 200 billion US dollars by 2010 when he visited ASEAN in April.
Due to deepening economic and trade cooperation between the two sides, Fu said, the pace of building the China-ASEAN free trade zone has been accelerated. Particularly, the tax-cut scheme initiated by the two sides last July marked the successful implementation of the China-ASEAN free trade zone, Fu said. Enditem