ASEAN has become the largest trade partner of China, and drawn rocketing Chinese capital inflows, China’s Global Times said in its article posted on November 11.

According to the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN, China's direct investment in ASEAN in the first three quarters reached 10.72 billion USD, increasing 76.6 percent year-on-year. Investment from ASEAN into China increased by 6.6 percent year-on-year, led by Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

ASEAN-China trade surges despite pandemic (Photo for illustration)

The article highlighted China and ASEAN have long seen strengthening economic ties, and higher investment from China into ASEAN is in line with accelerating bilateral trade. Growing trade has brought demand for localized production or business operations, which in turn has boosted capital flows.

The two sides have great economic complementarities, and they have taken part in the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area for 10 years. As one of the most energetic free trade zones in the world, it has further promising prospects. The Xinhua News Agency reported that bilateral trade grew to 641.5 billion USD in 2019 from 292.8 billion USD in 2010.

With the pandemic shattering industry chains, it is expected to be more integration of Chinese industries and developing ASEAN markets. Although Chinese investment in ASEAN may not keep expanding as fast as 76 percent annually, sustained growth is foreseen, as China has shown a commitment to promote regional economic integration, and the two sides have made efforts to further enhance ties, including promotion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Under market principles, China and ASEAN are seeking more efficient development. For instance, agricultural industries and cooperation on industrial capacity are areas in which the two sides could cooperate.

As the markets of China and ASEAN reach a higher degree of integration, this will further promote the regional economic integration between East Asia and Southeast Asia, the article said.

Source: VNA