The Jakarta Post
ASEAN and China are seeking to double their trade value in the next four years, setting an ambitious target of US$1 trillion by 2020.
“Increasing trade is the kind of concrete achievement that is one of our main focuses as ASEAN and China enter the 25th year of our cooperation this year,” the Foreign Ministry's ASEAN dialogue partners and inter-regional cooperation director, Derry Aman, told journalists in Jakarta on Thursday.
Derry said China, the world’s second-largest economy, was ASEAN's biggest trade partner and as of December 2014, ASEAN-China trade amounted to $366.5 billion per year.
"To reach the targeted $1 trillion by 2020, ASEAN and China strengthened their free trade agreement last year," Derry said.
According to official data, China is still only the fourth-biggest investor in ASEAN, after the European Union, Japan and the US in terms of total investment
Between 2012 and 2014, Derry said, China’s investment in ASEAN totaled $21.3 billion and this number was targeted to increase to $150 billion by 2020.
This year marks 25 years of China-ASEAN cooperation, since relations officially began in 1991.
Derry said the two parties had realized various forms of cooperation, especially those relating to the three pillars of ASEAN, namely political-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation. This year, for example, he said, the two parties were focusing on the ASEAN-China education exchange. (ebf)