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PIA Press Release

ASEAN Secretariat, Hubei province celebrate cooperation agreement

ASEAN Secretariat (7 November) -- The ASEAN Secretariat and Hubei Province of the People's Republic of China yesterday signed a Minutes-of-Meeting on Strengthening of Trade and Economic Cooperation which further underscores the two sides' commitment to implement the Memorandum on Cooperation signed by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, and the Governor of Hubei Province, Mr Li Hongzhong, earlier this year on 11 May 2008, during Dr Surin's visit to Wuhan City in Hubei Province.

The signing ceremony of the Minutes of Meeting took place at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta. It was witnessed by members of the Hubei Provincial Government, the Ambassador of China to Indonesia, trade representatives of ASEAN Embassies in Jakarta, and the business community.

Under the Minutes of Meeting, both sides will promote trade and economic cooperation as agreed to in the Memorandum on Cooperation. Both sides will also explore the possibility of holding an ASEAN-Hubei Forum on Trade and Economic Cooperation next year in Wuhan City.

Expressing his warm welcome to the Hubei delegation, Dr Surin said, "In this period of global financial turmoil, China is expected to continue to be a strong contributor to global economic growth. There are still untapped regions in China and the ASEAN business community should look for opportunities in these markets and diversify their export base."

"At the same time, the ASEAN economies provide excellent opportunities for Chinese business and investment," Dr Surin said, adding, " Hubei, which is China's 12th largest province, could consider undertaking more trade and investment missions to ASEAN countries". " Hubei also could consider hosting trade fairs and expositions to provide exposure to ASEAN businesses and investors. The proposed ASEAN-Hubei Forum on Trade and Economic Cooperation in Wuhan City will be an important platform to further materialise the cooperation between the two sides."

Hubei was the first Chinese Province to sign a Memorandum on Cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat, followed by Guangdong Province on 5 September 2008. The objective is to explore cooperation possibilities with the Central and Western provinces of China which can offer opportunities to deepen and widen ASEAN-China relations. (ASEANSec) [top]

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