China’s Guangxi accelerates cooperation efforts with ASEAN

Containers are loaded onto a cargo vessel in Qinzhou Port, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, a transit point on the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. [PHOTO/XINHUA]

NANNING, Dec 1- Amidst the hustle of dockworkers and the rhythmic hum of machinery, an assortment of frozen seafood was loaded onto cargo ships bound for Southeast Asia.

According to the producer of these seafood products, Beihai Quality Aquatic Products Co Ltd, based in the city of Beihai in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the company has seen increasing sales to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since last year.

Shi Haiting, a company official, attributes the expansion of the company’s export opportunities in ASEAN countries, particularly Malaysia and Thailand, to the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Beihai, Guangxi’s largest aquatic product processing and export base and a major industrial city, enjoys strong demand from ASEAN member countries for its mechanical and electrical products, high-tech items, and aquatic goods.

Serving as a gateway to ASEAN, Guangxi is swiftly ramping up its engagement with ASEAN nations across various sectors.

Data from customs of Nanning, the regional capital, showed that in the first 11 months of 2023, Guangxi’s trade with ASEAN reached 293.06 billion yuan ($ 41 billion), a 21.8 percent increase year-on-year, higher than Guangxi’s overall foreign trade growth. This trade volume accounts for 47.9 percent of Guangxi’s total foreign trade during the period, with exports standing at 209.14 billion yuan and imports at 83.92 billion yuan.
Cross-border tourism and trade between Guangxi and Vietnam are also flourishing. At the Detian cross-border waterfall scenic area which started trial operations in mid-September, streams of visitors from both sides of the border can be seen relishing the breathtaking natural spectacle.
“So far, we have welcomed 96 Chinese tour groups, totaling approximately 1,000 visitors, and 165 Vietnamese tour groups, with around 2,600 visitors,” said Li Bing, a manager at the local tourism development company. Li added that due to the growing number of tourists, dining, accommodation and entertainment businesses have emerged in the vicinity, injecting new vitality into the local economy.
In the field of digital economy, the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co Ltd, established in Nanning in 2016, is spearheading the region’s digital transformation and cooperation with ASEAN countries.
The company’s projects in digital governance, enterprise, industry and new communication technologies span across Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
“Our company has selected advanced and applicable internet application technologies for collaboration with ASEAN countries, promoting the transfer of cutting-edge digital technologies overseas,” said Lu Dongliang, chairman and president of China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co Ltd.

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