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China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone wants to modernize

Following the 13th meeting of the China-ASEAN Ministers of Economy and Trade, it was decided to start negotiations on the modernization of the China-ASEAN free trade zone, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The 13 China-ASEAN Economy and Trade Ministers Meeting was held on August 12 in Naypyidaw. The Minister of Commerce of China, Gao Hucheng, in his speech noted that as the creation of a free trade zone accelerated, trade and economic cooperation between China and ASEAN had already become one of the highlights of relations.

Gao Hucheng said that China intends to expand mutually beneficial cooperation with ASEAN, in connection with which he put forward four proposals for cooperation: to jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, continue to improve conditions for bilateral trade and investment, and accelerate the construction of infrastructure facilities that provide expanding transport and communication capabilities and strengthening cooperation in regional economic integration.

In a joint communique issued at the end of the meeting, it is noted that the meeting participants support the modernization of the China-ASEAN free trade zone, which is clear evidence of constructive relations between the parties and promotes the deepening of their economic interests in a mutually beneficial way.

Ministers welcomed China's initiatives to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. They also welcomed the launch of the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Area talks.

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