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China-ASEAN trade and economic cooperation strong

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN ties. Bilateral trade and economic cooperation have been fruitful over the past decades.

China has been the largest trading partner with ASEAN for seven consecutive years. Trade has grown at an annual rate of 18.5 percent — from $7.9 billion in 1991 to $472 billion last year.

In 2010, China and ASEAN established a free trade area — or FTA — that allows for “zero tariff” trading. Last year, the two sides signed an agreement to expand trade in the FTA, with the hopes of reaching $1 trillion in total bilateral trade by 2020.

Infrastructure cooperation is also growing strong. The number of new infrastructure projects signed by Chinese companies grew by 41 percent in 2015. Chinese companies signed contracts worth an estimated $10 billion this year.