Shandong boosts SME cooperation with ASEAN

(| Updated : 2021-05-26

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Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province [Photo/VCG]

The ASEAN-China (Shandong) SME Conference for Cooperation and Development will be held from May 28 to 29, with the provincial capital Jinan serving as the main venue and the cities of Dezhou, Tai'an and Jining hosting other activities.

Hosted by the Shandong Provincial People's Government and the ASEAN-China Center, the event will be held online and offline.

About 40 foreign representatives from the ASEAN-China Center, ASEAN diplomatic envoys in China, representatives of ASEAN enterprises and economic and trade institutions in China will take part in the event offline, while 160 from domestic government departments, enterprises and financial institutes will attend the event offline. Around 1,200 small and medium-sized enterprises will also attend the event online.

According to Cai Xianjin, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shandong Provincial People's Government, the event is designed as a high-level platform for Shandong to deepen ties with ASEAN countries, integrate itself into the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as seize the opportunity brought by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).

"The event is of strategic and practical significance for strengthening the exchanges and cooperation between Shandong and ASEAN," said Cai.

According to official statistics, ASEAN is the largest trading partner and export market of Shandong. In 2020, the total import and export volume between Shandong and ASEAN reached 300.68 billion yuan ($47.09 billion), with a year-on-year growth of 24.4 percent. In the first quarter of this year, the trade volume between Shandong and ASEAN was 84.43 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 45.1 percent.

To date, 661 ASEAN enterprises have invested some $18.72 billion in Shandong, while 731 Shandong enterprises have invested $15.64 billion into setting up factories in ASEAN countries.

Shandong has established sister city relations with 10 ASEAN cities and friendly cooperative relations with 21 local governments in ASEAN.