Written By Huang Yunyun / Translated By Xie Zongming
Nowadays, the high-quality development of the economy has become the common goal of countries. Since science and technology are significant driving forces of the economy, they have attracted considerable attention and gradually become a hot topic of international cooperation.
The influence of China-ASEAN science, technology and innovation cooperation has made its way to the platform of the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO). The Expo allows people to meet face to face with high-tech products, explore the results and potential of China-ASEAN cooperation in such areas, and listen to the opinions of experts so as to have a look at the future direction of such cooperation.
Eye on technology development, China and ASEAN established multi-focus cooperation
China-ASEAN science, technology and innovation cooperation has a long history. Since May 2017 when Chinese President Xi Jinping, proposed to initiate the Action Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation along the Belt and Road in the 1st Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, China-ASEAN cooperation in such areas has been broadened and received encouraging results.
The current cooperation between the two sides includes multiple aspects such as technology transfer, scientific research platform construction, science and technology parks construction, and innovation and entrepreneurship. 10 nation-level bilateral joint labs like the China-Indonesia Biotechnology Joint Laboratory and the China-Lao New and Renewable Energy Joint Laboratory have commenced constrution. China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, along with several ASEAN member states such as Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia, have started the negotiation on building science and technology parks to jointly support the innovation and commercialization of technology companies and teams.
As the frontier of China-ASEAN opening-up, Guangxi has also made a great contribution in science cooperation as the China-ASEAN Technology Transfer Center, China’s only nation-level institution for technology transfer facing the ASEAN, is located in Nanning, After years of endeavor, the Center has finished building a coordinative technology transfer network covering institutions and enterprises from both sides, which includes more than 8,500 companies and has facilitated the signing of more than 630 cooperation agreements.
On November 3, 2021, the opening ceremony of the 6th China-ASEAN Technology Manager International Training Session, sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, was held in Nanning. This provides tuition on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), fintech system, international technology transfer, and innovation incubation involved in the process of technology transfer for 35 participants in charge of technology departments, scientific research institutions, and technology transfer and management from 9 ASEAN countries, for example, Brunei, Cambodia, and Indonesia. According to Jian Xingchao, Deputy Director of Guangxi Department of Science and Technology, the Session has trained more than a hundred ASEAN participants, which proves to be important for promoting China-ASEAN science and innovation cooperation.
China-ASEAN science and innovation cooperation development shown on the CAEXPO
As a grand event co-hosted by the economic and trade departments of China and ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat, CAEXPO is an important window to observe China-ASEAN cooperation in various fields, including the cooperation of science and technology (the Technology Exhibition). Looking back the Exhibition on Advanced Technology of the 18th CAEXPO, in which the huge exhibition hall was decorated in blue and the cutting-edge technology of hot fields was shown, Audience can have a good understanding of the promising status of China-ASEAN cooperation in science and innovation.
With the development of technologies like mobile terminals, big data, and communication technology, the digital economy has become a buzzword in global economic development, which also opens a new aspect for China and ASEAN to cooperate. Thus, renowned Chinese companies such as Huawei, Inspur, China-ASEAN Information Harbor (the Information Harbor), and companies under the Chinese Academy of Sciences brought the latest 5G technology to the Exhibition. Huawei showcased their latest products of AI and Silincom focused on demonstrating their industrial applied 5G technology and 5G solution.
According to the Information Harbor, the company and its Lao partners jointly developed a real-time communication system called GChat, which solves the problems hindering Lao government officials to coordinate at work, providing technical support for the smart administration and intelligent office system of the Lao government and facilitating its digital restructure.
At present when the world is still stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperation in epidemic prevention and control between China and ASEAN has become another focus. In the Technology Exhibition, companies who have already started the anti-epidemic cooperation with ASEAN countries, such as Shenzhen MGI Tech, Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, showed the advanced technology for epidemic control and prevention, such as the Huo-Yan Lab for COVID-19 detection and the “One Square Meter" Lab that uses AI assistant.
According to Li Wenmei, President of Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, ASEAN is gradually gaining the attention from medical equipment manufacturers and In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) companies as they have taken ASEAN as an emerging market and a strategic priority, which will improve the well-being of ASEAN people.
In addition, well-known Chinese universities such as the Zhejiang University, Sichuan University, Chang’an University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, and the South China University of Technology also brought their latest achievements and products of anti-aging and anticancer research, flame-retardant technology using polymer materials, aeronautic and Astronautic metallurgy, and intelligent wearable bionic exoskeleton recuperation with Internet Plus technology.
The exhibits and advanced technologies on display at the exhibition are testaments to China’s embrace of the trend of scientific and technological development and solid foundation for China-ASEAN cooperation in scientific and technological innovation. In the way where China and ASEAN countries seek high-quality economic development together, science and technology are without a doubt the beacon that brightens the path.
New chapter of China-ASEAN technology cooperation unfurls in meetings and forums
Exhibits and technologies are the results of scientific and technological ideas becoming reality; Conferences and forums serve as communication platforms for cooperation in science and technology innovation. The 9th Forum on China-ASEAN Technology Transfer and Collaborative Innovation under the framework of CAEXPO is exactly this kind of forum, which builds a platform for exchanges, facilitates the formulation and development of mechanisms, and promotes the signing of projects.
The previous 8 forums have more than 70 Chinese and ASEAN government officials at the sub-minitrial level or above presented. The two sides reached several consensuses in technology policies, cooperation mechanisms, and working patterns in the former forums. The Forum also facilitated the mechanisms of “bilateral technology transfer” between China and all ASEAN countries except Singapore. After about 30 sideline forums, seminars, and technology transfer matchmakings, 220 projects between China and ASEAN countries in the area of electronic information, new energy, and biomedicine were signed or are to be signed.
The 9th Forum on China-ASEAN Technology Transfer and Collaborative Innovation themed “Innovative Development Fostering the Opportunities, Sustainable Development Winning the Future” includes activities like the opening ceremony, the 3rd ASEAN + 3 (10+3) Young Scientists Forum, and China-ASEAN Technology Transfer Matchmakings, etc., gathering government officials, senior scholars, young scientists to discuss technology, innovation, and sustainable development.
Aside from these discussions listed, there are other positive results gained in the forum. For example, the China-ASEAN Technology Trading Platform and the Innovation Space for China-ASEAN Science and Technology Talents were launched in the forum, providing a trans-regional, trans-disciplinary, and trans-institutional platform for technology information exchanges and a platform for facilitating one-stop exchanges between the talents of science and innovation from the two sides. In addition, China donated 30 sets of trial-version BeiDou 3 intelligent portable terminals, marking the official beginning of China-Thailand, if not China-ASEAN, navigation satellite cooperation.
For 18 years, driven by the fact that science and innovation cooperation has become the need of China-ASEAN cooperation, CAEXPO has combined efforts and gathered resources for innovation, such as knowledge, technology, and talents, to build cooperation platforms between China and ASEAN Technology won’t stop upgrading, which will not only help CAEXPO upgrade its own development but also allow CAEXPO to provide the latest stage for China-ASEAN technology and innovation cooperation.