Asean to overtake US as China's trade partner
BEIJING: Asean is expected to surpass the United States as China's second largest trading partner within three to five years, says Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Commerce Liang Wentao.
He said currently, trading volume between China and the United States was only US$40 billion-50 billion higher than the traded volume with Asean.
Looking at the current increasing rate, Liang remained optimistic that Asean would very soon overtake the United States to become China's second largest trading partner.
Speaking at a press conference in conjunction with the visit of Asean journalists, he said in the first eight months of the year, two-way trade between China and Asean reached US$284.31 billion, up 12.5 per cent, year-on-year, accounting for 10.5 per cent of the country's total foreign trade during the same period.
"In 2012, bilateral trade between China and Asean totalled US$400 billion with an average annual growth rate of 22 per cent, 7.3 times higher than that of ten years ago.
"However, trade volume between China and the United States rose 6.6 per cent, year-on-year, from January to August this year," he said.
Currently, Asean is China's third largest trading partner, after the European Union and the United States. -- Bernama