China-South Asia Expo opens in SW China

 

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai delivers a speech at the opening of the first China-South

Asia Expo, in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, on June 6, 2013.

The 21st Kunming Import and Export Fair opened simultaneously with the expo.

Photo by Lin Yiguang

 

People visit the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s

Yunnan Province, on Thursday of June 6, 2013. The five-day China-South Asia Expo

opened here on Thursday, attracting over 1,400 exhibitors from Asian countries and

regions.   Photo by Lin Yiguang

 

 

By Qiang Lijing, Li Huaiyan, Pu Chao and Zhang Xu

The first China-South Asia Expo, aimed at boosting cooperation and development of the region, kicked off on Thursday of June 6 in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

With the theme of opening up to each other, pragmatic cooperation, mutual benefit and harmonious development, the expo is expected to serve as a platform for economic, technological and cultural exchanges between China and South Asian countries.

The five-day expo is expected to attract more than 1,200 exhibitors and buyers from 43 countries or regions, according to organizers.

There are 2,420 indoor exhibitor booths which are divided into four display areas, including a mechanical and electrical equipment zone and a biological resources section. There are also two outdoor display zones for furniture, large machinery and equipment.

South Asian countries are registered to take up 748 booths, accounting for about one third of the total.

Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and foreign leaders or senior officials from Malawi, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand attended the opening ceremony. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Secretary-General Ahmed Saleem was also present.

The event has been upgraded from the South Asian Countries Commodities Fair which was first held in Kunming in 2010.

The 21st Kunming Import and Export Fair opened simultaneously with the expo.

 

 

 

Chinese vice premier meets leaders 

of South Asian countries 

 

By Qiang Lijing, Zhang Xu and Li Meng

Vice Premier Ma Kai on Thursday of June 6 met with foreign leaders who are attending the first China-South Asia Expo held in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

While meeting with Prime Minister of Sri Lanka D. M. Jayaratne, Ma said China and Sri Lanka have been good neighbors for years.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who recently wrapped up a visit to China, reached an important consensus with President Xi Jinping on deepening bilateral relations, according to Ma.

China is willing to make joint efforts with Sri Lanka to aid in implementing the consensus, Ma said.

Jayaratne thanked China for supporting Sri Lanka’s development and voiced willingness to strengthen bilateral trade and cooperation.

While meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, Ma said China and Vietnam are both in key stages of development.

Ma said it is in the fundamental interests of both countries to increase pragmatic cooperation and seek common prosperity.

Ma said China will adhere to a principle of friendship in its relations with Vietnam and build a stronger all-around strategic partnership of cooperation.

Vu expressed admiration for China’s accomplishments and stressed the great importance his country has placed on bilateral relations.

Vu pledged to make efforts to seek more practical achievements in bilateral cooperation.

While meeting with Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, Ma said China’s leaders have attached great importance to developing ties with Laos.

Ma said China will join hands with Laos to strengthen strategic communication, deepen cooperation and boost the development of bilateral relations.

Somsavat said Laos cannot develop without China’s support. He called for a stronger bilateral strategic partnership and more pragmatic  cooperation between the two countries.

 

 

 

Chinese vice premier eyes broader 

cooperation with South Asian countries  

 

By Liu Dongkai

Vice Premier Ma Kai said on Wednesday of June 5 that China attaches importance on expanding cooperation with South Asian countries.

Ma made the remarks while meeting with attendees of the first China-South Asia Expo, which will run in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, from June 6 to 10.

While meeting with Malawi President Joyce Banda, Ma said both countries have consolidated mutual trust, carried out fruitful cooperation and increased people-to-people contact, adding that China is ready to work with Malawi to boost bilateral relations.

Banda said Malawi welcomes more Chinese companies to invest in the country and participate in its economic recovery.

While meeting with Nepalese Vice President Paramananda Jha, Ma said  China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Nepal by promoting common development.

Jha said Nepal has always placed importance on its relations with China and firmly adhered to the one-China policy. He expressed willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, agriculture and tourism.

While meeting with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretary-General Ahmed Saleem, Ma said China is ready to carry out dialogue and cooperation with SAARC in the spirit of ”sharing peace, promoting development and seeking cooperation.”

He said China is ready to play a constructive role in pushing forward the integration of SAARC and advancing peace and development in South Asia.

Saleem expressed readiness to push for new progress in SAARC-China cooperation.

While meeting with former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Ma said he appreciates Mahathir’s efforts to advance China-Malaysia cooperation, adding that he believes bilateral relations will reach a new stage through joint efforts from both sides.

Mahathir said Malaysia has been glad to see the rise of China and its contributions in promoting regional peace, stability and growth. He expressed hope that Chinese and Malaysian companies will strengthen cooperation and realize sustainable growth together.

 

 

South Asian traders eye

Chinese market

 

By Qiang Lijing, Li Meng, Li Huaiyan and Zhang Xu

The ongoing China-South Asia Expo and 21st Kunming Import and Export Fair, which both opened in southwest China’s Yunnan Province on Thursday of June 6, have attracted multiple traders from South Asian countries who wish to make money in China’s vast market.

Greesh Kumar, a carpet merchant from Pakistan, said he is attending the Kunming fair for the fourth time, as his products have been consistently popular with Chinese buyers.

“Compared with fairs in previous years, more exhibitors have registered booths, so we have more competitors,” he said.

Over 170 Pakistani companies are attending the fair, said Nasir Hamid, director-general of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.

Pakistan has maintained good economic and trade cooperation with China for years, with partners in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Hamid said, adding that he was pleased to see a larger fair launched in Kunming.

China is an important trade partner and foreign investment source for South Asian countries.

Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce showed that trade volume between China and South Asian countries rose from 5.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 93 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, with an average annual increase of over 26 percent. China’s imports from South Asian countries increased from 1.9 billion U.S. dollars to 22.6 billion U.S. dollars during the period.

India has 160 booths at the expo, said Debdatta Nandwani, deputy director-general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations.

“India has conducted frequent trade exchanges with China, as we have found great potential in the Chinese market. Chinese products with lower prices are more competitive, so we hope to have more opportunity to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with China,” she said.

Du Jianguang, vice general-manager of the Chinese branch of Indian industrial giant Tata Group, said Tata has 4,000 employees in China and is planning to expand its business there.

Indian businessman Rajat Kharkia said he used to export most of his products to Europe, but has since found three partners in China, adding that he believes his sales in China will increase in the future.

Haji Omer Rahimt, a jeweler from Afghanistan, said increasingly convenient transportation has made it easier for him to bring his wares to China.

The China-South Asia Expo is an upgraded version of the South Asian Countries Commodities Fair, which was first held in Kunming in 2010.

Xiong Qinghua, director of Yunnan’s department of commerce, said the expo will help Yunnan open up to South Asian countries and provide foreign traders with a new way to explore the Chinese market.

 

 

 

Taiwanese enterprises to boost

trade with South Asia

 

By Zhang Xu, Li Meng, Qiang Lijing and Li Huaiyan

The Taiwanese exhibition “Taiwan Excellence” opened on Thursday of June 6 at the first China-South Asia Expo being held in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, aimed at boosting trade and exchanges with South Asia.

M. S. Yeh, executive vice president of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, said Yunnan is a bridge connecting China with both South Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Many local Yunnan companies expect to form partnerships with their Taiwanese counterparts,” Yeh said.

Over 120 Taiwanese companies are participating in the expo.

“We brought Yunnan our best products to establish more Chinese and foreign business partnerships,” Yeh added.

Leon Chang, sales director of a Taiwanese medical manufacturer, said Yunnan offers a unique positional advantage for medium- and small-sized enterprises that wish to join hands with South Asian companies.

“Medical device manufacturing is extremely weak in most of southern Asia,” Chang said. “This has created huge market for us.”

The exhibition was also featured at the second Yunnan-Taiwan Symposium on Trade and Cultural Exchanges, which opened on Monday.

Some 22 agreements in the areas of agriculture, tourism, e-commerce, education and biotechnology were made between Yunnan and Taiwan at the symposium, with a total investment of 2.65 billion U.S dollars.

Trade volume between Yunnan and Taiwan stood at 272 million U.S. dollars in 2012, up 103.7 percent year on year, according to data from Yunnan’s commerce authority.

Chen Lijun, director South Asia research at the Yunnan Academy of Social Science, said Yunnan has become a window for China-South Asia cooperation.

Vice Premier Ma Kai said at the expo’s opening ceremony that the event provides a platform for China and South Asian countries to enhance understanding and communication.

He said China will accelerate the opening up of inland areas in order to deepen collaboration between China and neighboring countries.

He also highlighted cooperation among China, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh as part of an economic corridor discussed by Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to India in May.

 

 

 

 

Electric vehicles are displayed at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.    Photo by Chen Haining

 

People choose South Asian products at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.   Photo by Lin Yiguang

 

Visitors look at South Asian brochures at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.   Photo by Lin Yiguang

 

Buyers and exhibitors bargain at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.    Photo by Qin Qing

Exhibitors from Iran arrange silver ornaments at the first China-South Asia Expo

in Kunming on June 6, 2013.   Photo by Qin Qing

 

Pakistani commodities are displayed at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.    Photo by Chen Haining

 

A buyer from Maldives chooses South Korean Jewelry at the first China-South Asia Expo

in Kunming on June 6.    Photo by Chen Haining

 

An exhibitor presents Indian products at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.   Photo by Chen Haining

 

People visit the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming on June 6, 2013.  

Photo by Qin Qing

 

An Indian exhibitor arranges products at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming

on June 6, 2013.   Photo by Chen Haining

 

 Promoters pose at the first China-South Asia Expo in Kunming on June 6, 2013.    

Photo by Chen Haining

 

 

NEW LINK   posted on June 9

 

China to revive

“Southern Silk Road”

for regional prosperity

 

By Qiang Lijing, Li Huaiyan, Li Meng, Zhang Xu and Wang Jiang

 

China is looking to revive the ancient “Southern Silk Road” linking its southwestern regions with Southeast and South Asia, as it aims to boost cooperation with countries along the once-booming trade route.

China has had trade, religious and cultural exchanges with South Asian countries by way of the “Southern Silk Road” since ancient times, Dilip Barua, Minister for Industries of Bangladesh, said at the ongoing 8th China-South Asia Business Forum in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

With a history of more than 2,000 years, the ancient trade route, stretching over 2,000 kilometers long, was dubbed the “Southern Silk Road” by historians.

The route, originating from Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province, wandered through cities in Sichuan and finally took traders to Myanmar by way of Yunnan Province. Then, it extended through to India, Bangladesh and even the Middle East.

Similar to the prestigious Silk Road, the “Southern Silk Road” contributed much to cultural exchanges between China and South Asian countries.

As a country located at the junction connecting China, South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, Bangladesh is eager to strengthen cooperation in various fields with neighboring nations, especially China, Barua said.

As traders from South Asia started to eye the vast Chinese market, economic and trade relations between China and South Asian countries grew. Bilateral trade volume increased from 34.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 to 93 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, according to Li Jiheng, governor of Yunnan Province at the forum.

China has become an important trade partner and foreign investment source of South Asian countries while these nations are serving as China’s major overseas project contracting markets and investment destinations, Li said.

Yunnan Province, which positions itself as the “bridgehead” on the opening up of southwest China, has seen its trade volume with South Asian countries grow 18 times over the past 15 years.

However, since a convenient inland passage is still unaccessible, most business activities between China and these countries have to choose the risky sea passage, detouring through the South China Sea, and then by way of the narrow and perilous Strait of Malacca, to reach the South Asian region. The mountain valley communities of Yunnan Province and its backward transport infrastructures have hampered development of the remote southwestern border province.

Yunnan has endeavored to revive the once-booming trade road and become a significant transport hub since 1999 when the province started to plan a transport system with the capital city of Kunming as the center, linking East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia, said Wang Xiliang, director of the Yunnan Development and Reform Commission.

During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India in May, China and India called for establishing an economic corridor among China, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh in order to link East and South Asia, two crucial global economic growth points that would provide fresh impetus to Asian economic integration and economic expansion.

Li Jiheng believed the move will boost pragmatic cooperation between China and South Asian countries.

The proposal was also welcomed and echoed by South Asian countries at the ongoing first China-South Asia Expo, which is held in Kunming City from June 6 to 10.

T. M. Murtozaa Reza Chowhury, additional secretary of the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh said at the China-South Asia Business Forum that China and South Asian countries are neighbors with glorious history, splendid culture and long-standing relationships established 2,500 years ago thanks to the ancient “Southern Silk Road.”

Bangladesh always underscores the need for cooperation as an effective tool for social and economic development of the countries of the region, he said.

Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations, said at the forum that Indian companies have developed great interest in Chinese and South Asian markets while calling for a convenient transport passage.

South Asian countries have expanded cooperation with China in various sectors, which is conducive to eliminating economic disparities and enhancing regional stability, said Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development of Sri Lanka at the third China South Asia Friendship Organizations’ Forum, which was held during the expo.

In fact, China is ready for the revival of the “Southern Silk Road” and plans are under discussion, according to Yang Ye, a researcher with the Development Research Center of Yunnan provincial government.

Besides the 16 existing international transport lines linking Yunnan and some Great Mekong Sub-regional countries, seven trunk roads originating from Yunnan extending to neighboring nations and provinces have been promoted as high-grade highways, according to sources with the Transport Department of Yunnan Province. These include China-Vietnam Highway, China-Laos-Thailand Highway, China-Myanmar Highway, and a domestic section of China-India Highway.

With joint efforts by China, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, a highway route starting from Yunnan to India by way of Myanmar have been approved by relevant departments of the four countries, Yang said.

Experts from the four countries launched a field inspection along the route in February 2012. The first auto race along the 2,800-km route was successfully held from late February to early March this year.

The racing auto team started from the Indian city of Calcutta, traveled through Bangladesh and Myanmar’s major city of Mandalay entering China via the port city of Ruili, Yunnan Province, and finally reached Kunming.

Though the route of the new “Southern Silk Road” has yet to be determined, the success of the race across the four countries indicated that it is possible to build a transport passage along the route, Yang said.

The new route will not only help promote mutual understanding and exchanges between China and South Asian countries but also deepen and expand economic and trade cooperation among these countries, according to Yang.

On the other hand, the route is expected to serve as an inland bridge linking South Asian countries and central, eastern coastal areas of China, so as to promote the development of western regions of the country and boost the common prosperity of the nations along the route.

 

 

NEW LINK   posted on June 12

 

China, South Asia jointly

weather financial crisis

 

By Li Huaiyan, Li Meng, Wang Jiang, Wu Xiaoyang, Qiang Lijing and Zhang Xu

Trade officials from China and South Asian countries at the just-concluded 1st China-South Asia Expo proposed to strengthen cooperation and maintain economic growth amid the lackluster economic rebound.

The expo, which ran from June 6 to 10 in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, was held simultaneously with the 21st China Kunming Import and Export Fair.

According to statistics from the expos’ organizing committee, transaction volume during both of the five-day fairs reached 17.47 billion U.S. dollars, up 116.5 percent compared with last year.

Macky Hashim, former president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), said many South Asian countries have made considerable economic development with the help of cooperation with China at a time when Western nations are struggling against economic woes.

Being complementary to each other in various fields, China and South Asian countries should boost persistent cooperation in order to maintain the stability of the regional economic development, said Masood Khalid, ambassador of Pakistan to China.

Along with the increasingly close economic and trade relations between China and South Asian nations, the bilateral trade volume between China and these countries has increased from 34.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 to 93 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.

China has become an important trade partner and foreign investment source for South Asian countries while these nations are serving as China’s major overseas project contracting markets and investment destinations.

Yu Ping, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said China should further expand cooperative areas with South Asian countries.

Small and middle-sized enterprises should strengthen pragmatic joint work with South Asian countries in traditional fields while exploring emerging fields such as financing, environmental protection, and high-tech areas, according to Yu.

Ahmed Saleem, secretary general of the SAARC, said at the expo that senior officials from China and most SAARC member countries have attended the expo, indicating that they are very willing to take bilateral economic and trade relations to a higher level.

The SAARC will keep deepening regional economic cooperation with China and make full use of the abundant resources of both sides so as to help South Asian nations get rid of poverty and make the region a dynamic economic growth point, Saleem vowed.

Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations, said it is necessary for China and India to develop their trade relations. India hopes to make joint efforts with China in infrastructure construction, skills training, as well as industrial research and development.

In recent years, Bangladesh has attracted many Chinese companies including Huawei, ZTE and Haier Group to invest and set up plants there under a series of preferential policies, according to sources with the Embassy of Bangladesh to China.

China has also implemented an exemption policy on tariffs on about 5,000 imported goods from Bangladesh such as leather products, textiles and electronic components.

Tariq Sayeed, president of the Planet Energy Limited (a Pakistani company), said more products from South Asian countries would be exported to Chinese consumers via the expo.

Sayeed expressed hope about further market expansion, more investment, and said transfer of labor forces between China and South Asian countries should be encouraged so as to realize sustainable and comprehensive development in the region. 

 

 

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