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China to continue support for ASEAN’s central role in regional cooperation | FOOD2CHINA world
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China to continue support for ASEAN’s central role in regional cooperation | FOOD2CHINA world
Post Time:2020-09-01Author:FOOD2CHINA- Nina Nip

China will continue to support Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s central role in regional cooperation, and deepen trade ties in the China-ASEAN free trade area as part of broad-based efforts against unilateralism and protectionism, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Monday. The move is likely to breathe much-needed hope into a global economy battered by COVID-19 and fragmentation.

East Asian economies ought to make joint efforts to rebuild economic and social confidence in the midst of the raging coronavirus pandemic and global trade and investment shockwaves, MOFCOM said in a statement on its website after the just-concluded 19th China-ASEAN (10+1) Economic Ministers' Meeting. They should strive for a speedy recovery and the inclusive and sustainable growth of the world economy, the statement said.

The meetings held Thursday and Friday boosted regional countries' confidence in economic development and the integration of the Asian economy.

It's universally agreed that actions will be taken to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability to mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic and to boost the interconnectedness of supply chains. There's also a consensus on the support for necessary reforms of the WTO and the creation of an open, transparent, non-discriminative, stable and a mutually beneficial trade and investment environment.

The pandemic shock is expected to contract the global economy by 5.2 percent this year, while the East Asia and Pacific regional economy growth is estimated to fall to 0.5 percent this year, per the World Bank's projection in June. The Chinese economy, a bulwark for global growth, was still expected to record an expansion of 1 percent in 2020.

The commerce ministry also reiterated on Monday that it was pushing for the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year, as per the original schedule.

RCEP member countries are expected to hold a meeting in October to prepare for the deal's signing this year, the Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, citing Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

source: global times

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