The First Hunan(Huaihua) RCEP Economic and Trade Expo kicks off on Friday in Huaihua, central China's Hunan province. (Photo provided to China News Network)
(ECNS) -- The First Hunan(Huaihua) RCEP Economic and Trade Expo kicked off on Friday in Huaihua, central China's Hunan province, establishing a new platform for economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) members along the new land-sea corridor in China's western region.
A project signing ceremony was held on-site, with 21 projects signed and an investment of 21.2 billion yuan ($3.07 billion). A total of 113 projects are expected to be signed at this expo, with a total investment of 75 billion yuan. Among them are 25 projects with an investment of 1 billion yuan or more, totaling 35.76 billion yuan.
Themed "New Cooperation, New Opportunities, New Future," the expo includes an array of activities, such as the opening ceremony and the Western Land-Sea Corridor Boosting RCEP Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, the Third Huaihua Entrepreneurs Conference, and the Photoelectric Industry Development Summit Forum.
The expo set up an exhibition area of 20,000 square meters, with seven major sectors. More than 600 domestic and foreign companies have brought specialty products, such as coffee, fruits, tea, and bird's nests to the expo.
"I believe that this expo will provide a platform for the business communities to showcase their products and services and to network their potential partners and customers. It will also help them explore new business opportunities, especially in RECP markets, which promises enormous growth potential," said Somkhit Vankham, consul general of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Changsha.
Xu Ningning, executive president of the China-ASEAN Business Council and chairman of the RCEP Industry Cooperation Committee, said that enterprises should start with industries that have taken the lead in reducing tariffs and those with strong economic potential, seeking new business opportunities from the consensus reached by China and other RCEP member countries.
For that, all parties should seize the new opportunities in the RCEP market through the expo, establish new mechanisms for industry cooperation, and promote trade and investment cooperation driven by industrial cooperation, enabling enterprises to achieve win-win results, he said.
The opening ceremony and the Western Land-Sea Corridor Boosting RCEP Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum were hosted by Li Chunqiu, deputy secretary of the CPC Huaihua Municipal Committee and mayor of Huaihua.
The ASEAN is Hunan's largest trading partner.
The Hunan (Huaihua) RCEP Economic and Trade Expo will be permanently held in Huaihua, said Xu Zhongjian, secretary of Huaihua Municipal Party Committee, adding that Huaihua will build the expo into a new window for integrating itself into the country’s new development pattern, a new platform for promoting high-level opening-up, and an international public product shared by RCEP member countries.
The city has taken the lead in operating bi-directional China-Laos and China-Vietnam freight trains in the central region. It also regularly operates the Huaihua-Beibu Gulf port rail-sea intermodal trains, which is the most convenient channel for Hunan and even the inland areas of central China to access the ASEAN.
Last year, Huaihua's import and export volume grew by 135.6 percent, ranking first in Hunan in terms of growth rate. In the first quarter of this year, the city's total import and export volume reached 2.13 billion yuan ($0.31 billion), a year-on-year increase of 374.5 percent, demonstrating strong momentum.