The 12th China Northeast Asia Expo to be held in August will give a powerful impetus to the country's northeastern region and bolster its trade and economic relations with neighboring countries, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday. The expo will be held in Changchun, Jilin province, from Aug 23 to 27.
"China is the biggest trading partners of five Northeast Asian countries, while Japan and South Korea are China's second and third largest trading partners," said Li Chenggang, assistant minister of commerce.
"In 2018, the bilateral trade volume of China-Japan and China-South Korea both topped $300 billion, while the volume with Russia topped $100 billion."
In 2018, China's trade with five countries in the region totaled about $758.57 billion, accounting for nearly a quarter of China's total foreign trade.
Ministry data showed the investment in Northeast Asian countries has also seen steady growth. From January to May, China has invested $210 million in Russia, up 20.1 percent year-on-year, $88.68 million in South Korea, an increase of 73.1 percent year-on-year, and $68.2 million in Mongolia, 67.1 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
"The China Northeast Asia Expo is an important measure the Chinese government adopts to promote bilateral and regional cooperation and a significant platform for countries to seek economic and trade cooperation to aim for a win-win," Li said, adding it will further boost the economy of Northeast China.
Cao Yuanmeng, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, said the country's northeast is going through the key phase of revitalization, and NDRC will fully use the platform provided through the expo to maximize the advantage of its coastal and border location to push the progress of opening-up the country's economy.
Cao said the region has been improving its business environment for foreign investment, which has yielded fruitful results last year. This included the launch of the 13 billion yuan ($1.89 billion) FAW-Volkswagen Audi Q plant in Changchun, the $5.5 billion factory of Intel in Dalian and the 30 billion yuan plant of BMW Brilliance Automobile in Shenyang.
Officials said the expo will feature the 5G industry in the northeastern region as a number of leading companies such as Huawei and Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation among others will be showcasing their cutting-edge equipment during the expo.
Zhu Tianshu, vice-governor of Jilin, said the province has been seizing the opportunity brought about by the flourishing 5G industry and expects the technology to spur its economy.
He said future work will focus on pushing the infrastructure of 5G, highlighting the application of 5G technology in the automobile industry, and enhancing cooperation with global companies.
As the world economy still faces uncertainties and challenges from unilateral actions by other nations, weak investment and unstable financial markets, countries in Northeast Asia are having difficulties boosting exports and creating jobs even though many have mature manufacturing systems and strong domestic purchasing power to mitigate risks, said Huo Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Society for WTO Studies.
"China, Japan and South Korea should speed up the negotiation pace of the free trade agreement and boost other investment activities. Developing combined transport by rail and sea, road passages and other infrastructure is practical to establish a flexible transportation network throughout the Northeast Asia region to improve and diversify regional economic growth," he said.