'Diamond decade' ahead for China, ASEAN

'Diamond decade' ahead for China, ASEAN

Trade and investment between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are expected to more than double by 2020, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.

These goals are part of what the premier calls a "diamond decade" of relations the two must strive to achieve.

Trade is expected to reach US$1 trillion (S$1.2 trillion) in 2020, compared with US$400 billion last year, Li said at the 10th China-ASEAN Expo, which opened on Tuesday in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Two-way investment will amount to US$150 billion from 2013 to 2020, Li said.

By the end of June, China's outbound direct investment in ASEAN nations totaled nearly US$30 billion, and direct investment from ASEAN nations flowing into China exceeded US$80 billion.

Calling China and ASEAN "natural cooperative partners", Li said the two share common goals.

"The major task of China and ASEAN is to develop economies and improve the people's livelihood," he said.

This year also marks the 10th year that the two sides have an established strategic partnership, and trade in 2012 was five times that of 2003.

"Since China and ASEAN were able to build a golden decade of cooperation in the past 10 years, they will be capable of building the next 10 years into a diamond decade," Li said.

At the opening ceremony of the expo, China and ASEAN signed three economic agreements covering ports, technology transfer and an entrepreneur association.

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