The Chinese news agency quoted Yu Hong, a senior research fellow of the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore, as saying that the economic and trade cooperation between ASEAN member states and China remains strong despite the impacts of COVID-19. He believed that the collaboration will be boosted by the signing of RCEP, the world’s largest trade deal so far.

A port in Jiangsu province of China

In the first three quarters of 2020, the two-way trade volume topped 481.8 billion USD, making ASEAN the largest trade partners of China.

“This has demonstrated the resilience of China-ASEAN economic and trade ties, as well as the huge potential of economic and trade cooperation between the two sides”, Yu was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Yu pointed out that ASEAN and China are highly complementary in their industries, and enjoy huge potential for cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, digital economy, manufacturing upgrading, and trade in services.

The signing of RCEP will help ASEAN countries with advantageous natural resources and labor forces to undertake the transfers of manufacturing industries, so as to accelerate their industrialisation processes, he said.

Therefore, ASEAN countries will better integrate into the regional and global industrial chains, and strengthen regional economic integration, he added.

According to Yu, RCEP has injected "strong impetus" for Chinese and ASEAN companies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic by enabling them more access to the markets in the region.

Yu said ASEAN countries, being optimistic about China's economic prospects and the business opportunities given its vast market, will play an increasingly important role in China's economic and trade relations.

Source: VNA