China is ASEAN’s strongest economic partner, Hainan presented significant results

Augusto Sarmento - Finance · International
Reporter : Augusto Sarmento
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Indonesia's Chargé d'affaires, Irwansyah Mukhlis, attends an interview with Hinan media in the office of the ASEAN China Center on August 27, 2023.
Indonesia's Chargé d'affaires, Irwansyah Mukhlis, attends an interview with Hainan media in the office of the ASEAN China Center on August 27, 2023.

REGIONAL – Trade between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China is showing a significant impact. Hainan is a concrete result that shows significant increases.

In 2022 total trade between ASEAN and Hainan was around USD 5.88 billion. Hainan global trade was USD 30.01 billion in 2022, 19.59% between ASEAN and Hainan.

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Indonesia is the largest trading partner with Hainan with a total trade of USD 1.58 billion.

With ASEAN’s export to Hainan around US$2.99 billion (note: Indonesia’s export to Hainan around USD 1.01 billion) and ASEAN’s import from Hainan accounting for US$2.88 billion (note: Indonesia’s import from Hainan around USD 570.87 million).

“I do hope that there will be a lot more ASEAN products, especially Indonesian products entering Hainan and vice versa,” said Indonesia’s Chargé d’affaires Irwansyah Mukhlis, at the regional event, Grab a Bite of the Free Trade Port: Hainan and ASEAN Culture and Food Exchange, held in Beijing on August 27, 2023.

He believes the event is relevant and important to increase exchanges and deepen cooperation between ASEAN and Hainan. Not only with the current economic situation but also for the future development of cooperation between the two regions.

As ports play a significant role in international trade, he observes and suggests. Free trade ports in the area should be encouraged to share best practices and engage in more discussions and exchanges. For the growth of free commerce in the area, improving port access is also absolutely essential.

ASEAN-China Cooperation Overview

On August 8, 2023, ASEAN celebrated its 56th anniversary, and this year marks 20 years since China joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia.

On October 8, 2003, in Bali, Indonesia, China became the first Dialogue Partner to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

By establishing the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) two years ago, China and ASEAN also took further action. The Special Summit in November 2021 decided that the 30th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations will be observed in November 2021.

Concerning RCEP

After eight years of negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was ultimately signed on November 15, 2020, with a third of the world’s population and economy included, it is one of the biggest trade agreements in history.

Hainan Model Performs in Beijing, August 27, 2023
Hainan Model Performs in Beijing, August 27, 2023

Indonesia has been an important participant in the negotiations. Thus, it is in Indonesia’s best interest for this trade agreement to be completed.

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