An online promotional event to discuss how to deepen economic and trade ties between Fujian and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was held on June 30.
The event was carried out online for the first time by the Department of Commerce of Fujian Province and gathered a number of government officials from both sides, as well as representatives from chambers of commerce.
The online video conference included two venues in Fujian's capital city of Fuzhou as well as Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and broadcast online to 10 ASEAN member states.
Guo Ningning, vice-governor of the province, said that Fujian is widely believed to be the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and friendly exchanges between peoples from Fujian and ASEAN countries go back a long time.
Guo added that ASEAN is Fujian's largest trade partner, and the province saw robust growth in its foreign trade with ASEAN countries and regions last year, with trade volume rising by 17.5 percent year-on-year to nearly 249 billion yuan ($35.25 billion), a record high. Fujian expressed willingness to enhance cooperation with ASEAN and promote relations in terms of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people.
ASEAN enterprises are being encouraged to invest in Fujian, and Fujian firms will make efforts to expand their markets in ASEAN, aiming to facilitate greater trade flows between the two sides, Guo noted.
Yang Weiqun, deputy head of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce, said that economic and trade exchange between Fujian and ASEAN has not been suspended because of the COVID-19 epidemic, and the Ministry of Commerce will offer support to Fujian to deepen economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.
Fujian will further expand cooperation with ASEAN countries and work to speed up the development of digital economy, said Huang Dezhi, deputy director-general of Fujian's provincial commerce department.
Commerce departments in Xiamen, Nanping and Sanming also took part in the online video conference to promote their investment environment and embrace more business opportunities.