12th China-ASEAN expo opens: Zambo rolls out best products PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 September 2015 14:35

by SheIla Covarrubias


Nanning, China—Zamboanga City rolls out to the China and ASEAN market the best of the best products and services it can offer, as the 12th China-ASEAN Expo formally opens here at the Nanning International Convention Exposition Center (NICEC) in Nanning, Guangxi Province, China, Friday, September 18.

Zamboanga’s Mega sardines are among the over 500 brand names from all over China and ASEAN that are featured in the commodity trade pavilion. Local exhibitors to include the Sotto delicacies, EJT Food products and the pearls of Sitti Onggo among others complete the list of exhibitors in the expo.

Mayor Beng Climaco head of the Zamboanga delegation together with some members of the City Council leads in the different activities intended to promote the city’s trade, tourism and investment potentials in the CAEXPO which is emerging as a special international event held on a yearly basis co-sponsored by the governments of China and the 10 ASEAN countries.

Now on its 12th year, the CAEXPO stands out from other trade fairs and bears the missions of consolidating the friendly relationships between China and ASEAN, accelerating the CAFTA (China Asean Free Trade Agreement) construction and promoting cooperation between both sides in various fields.

Zamboanga City’s participation in the 12th CAEXPO has 3 major components: the Commodity Trade Pavilion, the Philippine National Pavilion where Zamboanga is the City of Charm and the Philippine Promotion Conference that includes business matching activities and sisterhood relationships.

On the first day of the 12th CAEXPO concurrent with the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS), Mayor Climaco attended the grand opening ceremony Friday morning that was keynoted by H.E. Zhang Gaoli, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council of China; welcomed guests at the Philippine pavilion; attended the Promotion Conference on ASEAN Industrial parks where Zambo Ecozone Chair Christopher Lawrence Arnuco pitched for the different ecozones in the country and met with the international press in the afternoon.

On the second day of the event, the mayor spearheaded the signing of the Letter of Intent (LOI) that will pave the way for a sisterhood agreement with Guigang, a city in the Guangxi Province, a first level port City. She will likewise spearhead the tour of the Philippine pavilion as well as the commodity pavilion and later make a presentation about Zamboanga City during the Promotion Conference of the Philippines.

Last Sept. 16, the mayor also signed a pledge of commitment with the city of Zhoushan in Zeijang Province, one of China’s special economic zone, whose fishing industry is number one in China.

The proposed twinning agreements went through the Department of Foreign Affairs’ approval, in compliance with the Bureau of Local Government supervision of the DILG requirements.

A mayor’s forum is also set on Sept. 20 to mark 2015 as the China-ASEAN maritime cooperation year that explains for the event’s theme of “21st Century maritime Silk Road” providing for more business opportunities for China and ASEAN countries to enlarge the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area with the ultimate goal of expanding bilateral cooperation and to reap more tangible economic returns.

Over the past 12 years, CAEXPOs have brought together high quality resources of China and ASEAN countries, formed multi-level, wide-ranging and cross regional exchanges and cooperation mechanisms and provided the most convenient platform for comprehensive cooperation between China and ASEAN, so that the bilateral cooperation has stepped from consensus to practice.

Meanwhile, the selection of a City of Charm for every country during CAEXPOs is one way to enrich China’s cooperation with ASEAN and to extend the current country-to-country cooperation among cities. As a city of charm for the year, the featured city will comprehensively exhibit its development and business opportunities in trade, investment, science and technology, culture and tourism.

For this year, the cities of charm for every country are the following: Hongkong for China, Bandar Seri Begawan for Brunei, Phnom Penh for Cambodia, Kepulauan Riau for Indonesia, Oudamsay for Lao PDR, Malacca for Malaysia,

Dawei City for Myanmar, Zamboanga City for Philippines, Singapore Chinburi Province for Thailand and Lao Cai Province for Vietnam.  Thailand is the Country of Honor, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) is the Special Guest Country. — Sheila Covarrubias