Every week, Chengdu sees 229 direct flights to Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. ASEAN has become an important trading partner of Chengdu. In 2018, the total import and export volume between Chengdu and ASEAN reached RMB101.39 billion, 27.1% up from last year…Nowadays, as the Chinese cities are scrambling for “going to South hemisphere countries”, every city wants to seize the opportunity in the vast Southeast Asian market. From the advantage of spatial distance to the long-term economic and trade ties, the cooperation and exchange between Chengdu and the ASEAN countries are obviously tacit and smooth.
How to seize the good momentum of development, strive for cooperation and exchange with the ASEAN countries and create development opportunities for the two sides? As a matter of fact, from the ASENA Session of 2019 Chengdu International Business Experience Trip to 2019 ASEAN-Chengdu Economic and Trade Cooperation Week, some signs may be seen from the intensive receptions of the ASEAN guests by Chengdu. In other words, Chengdu is actively showcasing its excellent business climate in order to create a new future for economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.
Today, the six-day 2019 ASEAN-Chengdu Economic and Trade Cooperation Week has officially ended after a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, as guests propose the need for more than 40 clear cooperation items. It is reported that Mr. Lai Teik Huat, Strategic Advisor to the Minister of Penang International Trade and Enterprise Development Department and Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Commerce have reached a preliminary intention to cooperate on the City of Gastronomy Series Activities.
Solid Foundation: The strong vitality of ASEAN market
Chengdu attaches importance to South-Oriented Economic and Trade Cooperation
“Over the years, the Belt and Road Initiative has created a grand picture of China’s all-round opening up, changing it from the hinterland to the forefront of opening up. To strengthen the economic and trade cooperation with the ASEAN countries, Chengdu has a solid foundation with a foreseeable future.” As early as the opening of the ASEAN-Chengdu Economic and Trade Cooperation Week, the leaders of Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Commerce were fully convinced of the cooperation between the two sides, in hopes of further elevating the two-way investment level, enhancing the two-way trade, establishing the platform for strong and open cooperation, and frequenting the exchanges and interactions between the two sides.
Such expectation stems from the attractiveness of the market, for Southeast Asia alone harbors a population of 600 million, 60 percent of them being young people who are working for rapid industrialization and digitization. E-commerce enterprises, e-competition enterprises, manufacturing enterprises and others focus on the so-called “connection” between the “gold diggers” rushing to the market on the one hand and the strong vitality emitted by the entire ASEAN market on the other hand.
As the entities for the Belt and Road investment and construction, enterprises have the most direct feeling toward the market. Statistics show that up to date, Chengdu enterprises have established 149 branches across the ASEAN countries, with a total investment of US $2.99 billion. Chengdu-based well-known enterprises such as New Hope Group, Tongwei Holding, Kaiyuan Group and Haite Hi-Tech have all invested in major projects in ASEAN countries.
Moreover, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines were approved to establish consular offices in Chengdu on different occasions. Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park, the College of Chinese & ASEAN Arts, China (Sichuan)-ASEAN Free Trade Cooperation Center and others have settled down here. For Chengdu people, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and other ASEAN countries have become the top 10 outbound destinations and the most popular destinations, receiving more than one million Chengdu tourists every year…
It can be seen that with the continuous promotion of cultural exchanges, platform building, investment deployment and channel construction, Chengdu has already taken the starting advantage in the “southward” trend. In response, some leader of Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Commerce said at the start of this cooperation week: Chengdu attaches great importance to southward economic and trade cooperation, has the will and strength to enhance economic and trade cooperation with the ASEAN countries under the framework of the “Belt and Road”, share the benefits of open development, and achieve the win-win cooperation.
Wide Spaces: Feel in a “down-to-earth” manner
Explore opportunities for cooperation in urban development
From inspecting the development path of Chengdu city in Chengdu Planning Exhibition Hall to inspecting the construction of park city, from inspecting the Volvo Production Base of Zhongjia Automobile Manufacturing (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. to inspecting the construction of the Chengdu International Railway Port as a portal, from inspecting the China-Europe Center to inspecting the construction of the local special block – Kuaizhai Alley, from urban planning to industrial development, from opening up to the Tianfu Culture, the guests were deeply impressed by the five-day depth inspection tour.
“As I admire the development speed of China’s railway and related industries, I hope to lead a team to for inspection, and look forward to the bilateral cooperation in railway transportation”, said Kraisorn Tippayajun, head of the Urban Relations Promotion Division of the Bangkok Ministry of International Relations, Thailand when he was exchanging ideas with Hu Long from the Chengdu International Trade and Modern Logistics Development Bureau during the visit to the European Centre. When it comes to cooperation, Kasemsit Pathomsak, deputy secretary-general of the Chiang Mai Prefecture Industries Association in Thailand, said during the visit to the European Industrial City that Chengdu and Thailand have always had trading with each other and that there may be more in-depth cooperation in building materials in the future.
For a hub city like Chengdu, how to make use of its pivotal position, strengthen exchanges with the ASEAN countries and really bolster its own economic development? As is known to all, the key for transforming the channel economy into a cost-effective economy lies in the formation of a “pool” of resources, so that all resources are willing to gather here for sharing. To put it otherwise, what we need to do is partly enhance the competitiveness of the city itself and partly encourage more cities to participate in cooperation for the connection of information and data at home and abroad, which is also one of the important objectives of ASEAN-Chengdu Economic and Trade Cooperation Week. Chengdu hopes that the guests will feel the development of the city in a “down-to-earth” manner. Whether it is the business climate, industrial cooperation or the planning and construction opportunities, both promotion effort and field experience must be carried out. Obviously, this enables the ASEAN guests to have a real experience before focusing on the cooperation with Chengdu.
Precision Selection: Guest invitation is closely related to the bilateral cooperation
Make face-to-face talk more efficient
As the Belt and Road Initiative progresses, the trade between Chengdu and ASEAN has grown rapidly, allowing entrepreneurs from all over the world to focus their investment on Chengdu city and of course, to find suitable investment projects and partners.
Industrial cooperation is the top priority of economic and trade exchanges, on the grounds of achieving results after the inspection of a few days or the possibility of later depth connection. This is a sign of the significance of prevision invitations of guests. The ASEAN guests and enterprises are in the fields of automobiles, finance, information technology, international trade, electronic manufacturing, electronic product retailing and others, which are closely linked to the current bilateral cooperation.
Some leader of Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Commerce said: “The continuous expansion of the international ‘friends” not only brings high exposure to the city, but also world-class stages and opportunities. As an important partner for Chengdu to further push forward the Belt and Road construction, the ASEAN countries should strengthen exchanges with the city in all aspects in the future for more in-depth economic and trade cooperation.” Excitingly, the ASEAN guests deeply felt the enthusiasm and development strength of Chengdu during the event, as they put forward the need for more than 40 clear cooperation items. In addition, Mr. Lai Teik Huat, Strategic Advisor to the Minister of Penang International Trade and Enterprise Development Department in Malaysia and Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Commerce have reached a preliminary intention to cooperate on the City of Gastronomy Series Activities
In order to jointly promote the bilateral exchanges and cooperation, the two sides reached a consensus, proposing a higher level of the two-way investment in the future. To be specific, Chengdu will actively support competitive local enterprises in going to the ASEAN countries for investment and business start-up, and as always, it welcomes the inflow of the ASEAN international capitals to Chengdu as well as the enhancement of two-way trade exchanges. Chengdu will actively expand new areas of trade cooperation such as automobile manufacturing, electronic products, biomedicine, rail transit, new energy, and new materials; vigorously develop new business types and new models such as cross-border e-commerce and market procurement trade, in bids to bolster cooperation in service trade. It will also put into full play the functions of cooperation platforms such as Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park, China (Sichuan)-ASEAN Free Trade Cooperation Center, to work for the deepening of economic and trade cooperation. In addition, more ASEAN countries are graciously expected to set up national exhibition pavilions to promote their own high-quality products. The two sides need to get along with each other well through multiple exchanges. Chengdu welcomes visitors from the ASEAN countries if they come to attend the activities in economy and trade, culture and tourism and other fields. In doing this, they will feel the glamour of Chengdu as a world-famous culture city.