China will continue to facilitate trade and investment in the Northeast Asia region, officials said on Sept 1.
They also urged all the parties concerned to forge cooperation in sectors like internet-based businesses, high-end intelligent manufacturing and modern services.
Vice-Premier Wang Yang said, “Although China has run a trade deficit with several countries in the region, we do not engage in trade protection, and we are willing to further expand our imports from these economies to meet diverse needs.”
He made the remarks while addressing the 11th China-Northeast Asia Expo that opened in Beijing on Sept 1.
China is willing to sign high-level trade agreements with the parties concerned, he said.
The biannual expo serves as an important platform to bolster economic and trade exchanges among Northeast Asian countries.
The 9th Summit Forum on Northeast Asia Cooperation was also held as part of the expo.
Qian Keming, vice-minister of commerce, said: “All parties in this region should promote all-round interconnection of infrastructure, and explore opportunities for collaboration in sectors like internet, high-end and intelligent manufacturing, and modern services.”
In 2016, trade between China and the five other countries of Northeast Asia totaled about $606 billion, accounting for 16.4 percent of China’s overall foreign trade, Qian said. In the same year, the other five countries’ investment in China reached about $7.85 billion, while China’s total investment in these countries also continued to grow, Qian said.
To achieve regional goals, Northeast China’s development needs to be stimulated, experts said.
The region borders Mongolia, Russia, and the Korean Peninsula, and is Northeast Asia’s major transport and logistics hub.
It has also been designated as one of the key areas of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Coupled with huge market potential, this important industrial base has rich resources, a wide talent pool, and a solid base of infrastructure.
The country will promote unswervingly “a new round of strategies” to revitalize Northeast China, and welcomes all economies to explore win-win cooperation in fields such as circular economy, green economy, healthcare, high-end equipment, bio-medicine and ice industry, said Lin Nianxiu, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.
In the first half of this year, the number of newly registered enterprises in Northeast China increased by 19.2 percent year-on-year, according to Lin.
The Northeast Asian countries will diversify their trade and also boost trade in services to benefit mutually, said Kang Sung-cheon, deputy minister of South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.