In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, the diplomat also underlined that this year’s events mark the 20-year journey of the CAEXPO and CABIS, an effective cooperation model between ASEAN and China that has brought practical benefits to businesses and peoples of ASEAN and China. This is also the first expo to be held in the in-person format after COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister’s participation at the events demonstrates Vietnam’s attaching of special importance to the mechanism in general and its 20th edition in particular, contributing to strengthening the substantial partnership between ASEAN and China, said Trung.

The 20th China - ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China - ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) are expected to provide Vietnamese firms with many investment and business opportunities.

He highlighted the sound development of the Vietnam - China relations, noting that this year, the two countries are celebrating the 15th anniversary of their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, the highest level of relations between Vietnam and a partner.

Following the official visit to China by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in late October and early November 2022 and another to attend the 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions of the World Economic Forum (WEF) by the Vietnamese Prime Minister in June, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s participation in the CAEXPO reflects the common perceptions of high-ranking leaders of the two Parties and States on the strengthening of high-level exchanges and meetings for stronger political trust, and more effective and practical cooperation, thus continuing to promote and deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, stated the diplomat.

He said that the 20th CAEXPO is to take place in the context that ASEAN and China have continued to elevate their partnership, marking the 20-year bilateral strategic partnership. The Vietnamese Prime Minister’s participation at CAEXPO shows the proactiveness and activeness of Vietnam in maintaining and strengthening regional cooperation, especially amid the negatively changing world situation.

Meanwhile, the trip also demonstrates the attaching of great attention to locality-to-locality cooperation between the two countries in general and between Vietnamese localities and Guangxi in particular, Trung said. As a gateway for China to ASEAN, especially to Vietnam, Guangxi plays an important role in the partnership between the two countries.

On the economic and trade situation between Vietnam and China in the recent past, the diplomat said that last year, two-way trade rose 5.47% to USD 175.56 billion, with Vietnam’s exports valued at USD 57.7 billion, up 3.18%.

Vietnam has been the largest trade partner of China among the ASEAN member countries, and the fourth among the countries in the world.

In the first seven months of this year, two-way trade hit USD 89.1 billion, down 12.6% year on year, including Vietnam’s exports of USD 30.8 billion, a drop of 2.4%. Vietnam's export revenue to China accounted for 15.8% of the country’s total, while its import expenditure from China made up 32.7% of the country’s total.

At the same time, in the first half of 2023, China invested nearly USD 1.3 billion in 233 projects in Vietnam, becoming the third largest investors in the country after Singapore and Japan. As of June 20, 2023, China had invested in 3,791 valid projects worth over USD 25 billion in Vietnam, ranking sixth among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

As for tourism, China has been the biggest market of Vietnam for many years, with 5.8 million Chinese visiting Vietnam in 2019, accounting for one-third of the total foreign arrivals to Vietnam. After the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 15, 2023, China officially allowed the operation of group tours to some countries, including Vietnam, and the resumption of a number of commercial flights between Hanoi and Beijing as well as the adjustments of visa, immigration and medical quarantine policies. In August, Vietnam welcomed more than 212,000 Chinese visitors, up 117% over that in July, pushing the total number of the Chinese tourists since the beginning of this year to 950,000.

For Guangxi, in 2022, trade between Vietnam and the Chinese locality reached CNY 199 billion (about USD 30.6 billion). Data from the Nanning Customs showed that in the first seven months of this year, import-export revenue between the two sides was CNY 138.3 billion, a surge of 78.7% year on year, with Guangxi’s exports of CNY 100.68 billion, a rise of 68.3%.

Commenting on prospects and opportunities for Vietnamese firms through the CAEXPO 2023, Trung said that this year's event will cover 122,000sq.m with 2,800 indoor booths and 10,000sq.m outdoor exhibition areas. Along with exhibiting activities, this year, more than 100 trade and investment activities will be held.

CAEXPO 2023 is expected to provide Vietnamese firms with many investment and business opportunities, promoting economic-trade relations between Vietnam and China as well as China and ASEAN member countries and partners outside the region. Trung noted that over the past 20 years, each edition of the expo has provided chances for Vietnamese firms to reach about 50,000 partners from China and ASEAN. In recent years, total trade and investment deals reached by Vietnamese firms at the event has amounted to about USD 50 million.

This year, the Vietnamese booth will cover 3,500 sq.m, he said, holding that CAEXPO has been a favorite “playground” for Vietnamese firms, evidenced by their active and full participation in all activities of the event for many consecutive years with the highest number of enterprises and booths among the ASEAN member countries.

Source: VNA