ASEAN now China's largest trading partner
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations became China's largest trading partner in the January-May period, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.
Customs statistics showed that China's exports rose 1.4 percent in May in yuan terms, as prevention and control of COVID-19 continued to improve and enterprises resumed work and production in an orderly manner, said ministry spokesman Gao Feng.
In the first five months of the year, China's overall imports and exports with ASEAN reached 1.7 trillion yuan (US$241 billion), up 4.2 percent year on year. China's exports to ASEAN added up to 936.62 billion yuan, an increase of 2.8 percent, while imports from ASEAN jumped 6 percent to total 759.86 billion yuan, both figures higher than the overall growth rate of China's foreign trade in the same period.
With the fast growth in imports and exports, ASEAN had now become China's largest trading partner, which fully reflects the potential and resilience of bilateral trade development, Gao said.
"The economies of China and ASEAN countries are highly complementary,” he said. "Especially since the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the two sides have continuously expanded market opening, promoted trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and deepened supply chain cooperation."
Gao said China is ready to further strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries in trade, investment and economic cooperation, make full use of relevant regional free trade agreements, support enterprises in expanding trade exchanges and encourage companies to carry out two-way investments.