（Written by Zhong Shuangxia / Translated by Chen Zhiying）With the constant sweeping of the COVID-19 through the globe, multinational economic development is facing unprecedented challenges. In order to further deepen China-ASEAN cooperation in production capacity under the Belt and Road and promote regional economic recovery, China-ASEAN Production Capacity and Investment Cooperation Forum was held under the framework of the 17th CAEXPO.
At the forum, with the focus on the theme of “Deepening Production Capacity Cooperation and Coping With Common Challenges”, participants talked about the achievements, proposed suggestions, and further affirmed the positive role of production capacity and investment cooperation facing the current crisis.
China-ASEAN production capacity cooperation continues to upgrade, achieving gratifying results
According to Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of China’s Development and Reform Commission and Director of the National Bureau of Statistics, at present, China-ASEAN cooperation in production capacity and investment has made steady progress and achieved many results.
In terms of policy communication, in recent years, China and ASEAN have actively implemented the China-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Production Capacity Cooperation, jointly building industrial chains and value chains with deeper integration, stronger driving forces and wider benefits. China has signed agreements with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and other countries on production capacity cooperation and third-party market cooperation, realizing common interests and mutual benefits.
On major projects, China and ASEAN countries have coordinated the prevention and control of major cooperation and construction projects, such as completing 54% of the China-Laos Railway and 40% of the track laying. Besides, the construction of offline civil engineering of the phase-one China-Thailand Railway cooperation project has been smoothly promoted, and the online project contract has been signed. The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway linking China and Indonesia has entered the stage of comprehensive and rapid construction, and about 70% of the civil works of the whole line have been completed. The construction of Malaysia’s eastern coastal railway and Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Sihanouk Port expressway are being implemented steadily.
In recent years, Guangxi, as the frontier gateway of China-ASEAN open development, has also made a series of fruitful achievements in production capacity cooperation, industrial docking, platform construction, etc., taking the lead in China-ASEAN production capacity and investment cooperation.
“Guangxi vigorously promotes and actively participates in international production capacity cooperation, covering more than 80 countries and regions in five continents, with investment fields in metallurgy, automobile manufacturing, engineering infrastructure, electronic information and other equipment manufacturing industries. From 2016 to 2020, the amount of overseas investment in Guangxi increased by 32%, among which ASEAN countries are the main destination of Guangxi’s overseas investment,” said Qin Rupei, Executive Vice Governor of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. “China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park and Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, namely ‘Two Countries, Twin Parks’, have created a new mode of international production capacity cooperation. A large number of landmark capacity cooperation projects have been completed and put into operation overseas, such as the Alliance Steel (M) Sdn. Bhd., with an annual output of 3.5 million tons and the Indonesian manufacturing base of SAIC GM Wuling. Positive progress has been made in a number of cooperation platforms such as the China-Cambodia agricultural promotion center and Brunei Muara Port.”
Focus on “four new aspects” of production capacity and investment cooperation
The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. On November 15, 15 countries jointly signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP). The institutional arrangements of the multilateral free trade agreements have increasingly proved that all countries share a common destiny, and unity and cooperation are inevitable choices to cope with the challenges. “Only through win-win cooperation can we achieve great and long-term development,” said Qin Rup
We must see that further strengthening international production capacity and investment cooperation between China and ASEAN, and jointly building stronger and safer industrial chains and supply chains will be conducive to all countries in the face of complex and changeable international situation, to promoting economic recovery and growth of ASEAN, to advancing regional economic development and world economic recovery, and to jointly coping with the challenges of the COVID-19. It has important practical significance and practical effect. How to further deepen China-ASEAN cooperation in production capacity and investment? Ning Jizhe put forward “four new aspects”:
First, build an open and inclusive new pattern of regional economic cooperation. We will adhere to the principle of consultation, contribution and shared benefits, abide by local laws and regulations and cultural customs, follow the objective law of economic development, strengthen exchanges and docking, and promote win-win cooperation.
Second, build a strong regional cooperation chain. In carrying out production capacity cooperation between China and ASEAN, the key is to pay attention to timeliness and put into action. China and ASEAN should continue to strengthen the docking between the Belt and Road Initiative and the ASEAN development plan, implement the RCEP, play the role of multilateral mechanisms such as Lancang-Mekong cooperation and cooperation in eastern economic growth areas, and the role of bilateral mechanisms such as international capacity cooperation under the Belt and Road. We should strengthen policy communication and coordination, strengthen exchanges and the docking of standards and qualifications, reduce hidden barriers, optimize resource allocation, give full play to the comparative advantages of different countries, and promote the formation of a more complementary regional industrial chain in key industries such as infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, and medical care. On the basis of ensuring epidemic prevention, we should jointly build a regional network of fast tracks and green channels, strengthen connectivity and cooperation in transportation, energy, information and other infrastructure, actively carry out intelligent logistics cooperation of cross-border E-commerce, improve and enhance the functional efficiency of logistics system, and form a strong and safe regional supply chain.
Third, stimulate the new driving force of regional development driven by innovation. At present, the world is at the historical juncture of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation. Both sides should strive to break the barriers restricting the flow of innovative elements such as knowledge, technology and talents, expand technological exchanges and cooperation between enterprises, promote co-construction of joint laboratories, R&D centers and science and technology parks, attach importance to the protection of intellectual property rights, and strengthen innovative cooperation in digital economy, artificial intelligence, smart city and communication in a new generation, and fight against the COVID-19 with innovation. At the same time, we should steadily promote financial cooperation and innovation, encourage local currency settlement in trade and investment, optimize international investment and financing products on the basis of risk control, and provide diversified financing sources for cooperative projects. Besides, we need to promote the innovation of project cooperation modes, actively carry out the third-party market cooperation, and realize shared interests and risks.
Fourth, cultivate a new growth point for the green and clean development of regional economy. Strengthening the construction of ecological civilization is an inevitable trend of regional cooperation. We should advocate green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable production and life style, expand cooperation in ecological and environmental protection, and integrate the concept of green development into production capacity and investment cooperation on the basis of respecting international rules, international practices and environmental protection laws and regulations of the host country. At the same time, we should continue to strengthen international anti-corruption cooperation and create a clean and fair business environment, to better protect the legitimate interests of market entities.
China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only be opened even wider. At present, challenges and opportunities coexist, and we can see opportunities in challenges. “2021 will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue between China and ASEAN. China looks forward to working with all parties to continuously deepen production capacity and investment cooperation, prevent and resolve various risks and challenges, and jointly build more open and more resilient regional industrial chains and supply chains, so as to make greater contributions to the recovery of regional economic growth, development and prosperity and inject more impetus into the global economic recovery and sustainable development,” said Ning Jizhe.
Source: China-ASEAN Panorama