(ECNS) -- China and ASEAN are actively advancing Free Trade Area (FTA) 3.0 negotiations, enhancing the openness of the China-ASEAN economic and trade system, Vice Minister of Commerce Li Fei said at a press conference on Friday.
Li emphasized that guided by strategic leadership on both sides, China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation has undergone an upgrade, yielding fruitful results.
He said that the pie of trade has grown bigger.
According to Li, released dividends of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership have propelled the construction of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. China and ASEAN have further consolidated their positions as each other's largest trading partners.
It is reported that in 2022, the bilateral trade volume reached $975.3 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 11.2 percent. Compared to the $443.6 billion in 2013,this represents a 1.2-fold expansion over the past decade.
Li further noted that investment cooperation is flourishing.
"China and ASEAN are significant investment sources and destinations for each other," he said.
According to official reports, as of July this year, cumulative bilateral investments between China and ASEAN countries have exceeded $380 billion, with over 6,500 direct investment enterprises established across ASEAN countries .
"Through projects like Two Countries, Twin Parks, both sides have established demonstration zones for innovative economic and trade development, creating a new channel for ASEAN nations to integrate into China's opening-up and development," Li said.
The last aspect he mentioned is regional cooperation that continues to advance.
Li cited representative examples such as the coming into effect of the China-Cambodia Free Trade Agreement, substantial progress made in follow-up negotiations for the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement upgrade, and steady progress in China-ASEAN Eastern Growth Area cooperation and Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism.