NANNING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday said China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should seek to expand economic cooperation to boost their economies as the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) will come into effect soon.
Li made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, which was held simultaneously with the China-ASEAN Exop from Oct. 20 to 24 in Nanning, capital city of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Li said both sides should join hands to advance their economies in a healthier and more sustainable manner.
"Nations should maintain continuity and stability of economic policies to weather the global economic downturn and revive the world economy," Li said.
China and the 10 nations of ASEAN signed the China-ASEAN Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in 2002, proposing the FTA to be completed in 2010.
China and ASEAN should deepen trade cooperation, Li noted, saying both parties should put into concrete practice the preferential policies in accordance with the regulations in the achieved trade agreement of goods and service.
Efforts are needed to develop new policies conducive to market liberalization and offer more legal protection to provide new opportunities for enterprises, Li said.
Li urged more cooperation on bilateral and multilateral investment among China and the ASEAN members as mutual investment was "apparently inadequate" compared with that on trade.
"Increasing mutual investment is necessary, and there is potential for further cooperation as the China-ASEAN Investment Agreement has taken effect," Li noted.
The investment agreement, signed in August this year, aims for a free, transparent and fair investment mechanism for investors from China and ASEAN, who can enjoy most-favored-nation treatment, citizen treatment, and far and equitable treatment on reciprocal investment.
He said China encouraged domestic enterprises to establish economic cooperation zones in the ASEAN countries to fuel regional economy, and welcome investment from the ASEAN countries.
China and ASEAN should build more roads, railways, waterways and improve communications to facilitate mutual exchanges, and expand investment on agriculture, resource exploitation and new industries.
Subregional cooperation should also be given a boost, Li said, adding China supported the economic integration of the ASEAN countries and encouraged enterprises to step up cooperation in East ASEAN Growth Area, Greater Mekong Subregion and Pan Beibu Gulf.
Li said Guangxi had been a platform for exchanges between China and ASEAN, and China would firmly push forward development in the country's western region and welcome enterprises from ASEAN to invest in Guangxi and the western part of China.