By Wang Hai
China-ASEAN economic relations continued their strong momentum in 2017. China continued to be ASEAN’s largest trading partner. Cumulative two-way foreign direct investment between China and ASEAN reached $185 billion in the first seven months of 2017.
China and ASEAN are moving closer toward the goal of two-way trade of $1 trillion by 2020.
The following events shaped China-ASEAN economic ties in 2017.
Bikes into Singapore
Chinese leading bike-sharing companies OFO and Mobike
entered Singapore’s market in early 2017.
Both companies see Singapore as a major part
of their long-term strategy to enter Southeast Asian markets.
Huawei’s OpenLab in Bangkok
Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, launched its OpenLab Bangkok in June,
aiming to provide one-stop ICT infrastructure support for enterprises as well as to facilitate a digital transformation drive in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
With total investment of US$15 million, the OpenLab Bangkok is Huawei’s seventh worldwide.
Xiaomi in Vietnam
Chinese tech firm Xiaomi launched key products in Vietnam in March.
Xiaomi cooperates with the distributor Digiworld Corporation to bring its products and services to Vietnamese customers.
Major Xiaomi products are available in both online and offline stores in Vietnam including mobile phones, flat screen TVs, AV equipment and robot vacuum cleaners.
Wechat Pay in the Philippines
Asia United Bank launched WeChat Pay in the Philippines in November,
which allows mobile payments from Chinese tourists.
The agreement enables merchants in the Philippines to accept payments through WeChat Pay for hotel and airline bookings, shopping and dining.
Since the implementation of the ASEAN-China Air Transportation Agreement and its protocols in early 2017,
37 cities in ASEAN have been connected with 52 cities in China
through over 5,000 direct flights per week by the end of 2017.
Thailand signed two contracts, worth a total of $157 million, with Chinese state enterprises for a high-speed rail project in China.
The China-ASEAN E-Commerce Platform was launched in December 2016.
After running for a year, the platform has upgraded cross-border trade between China and ASEAN member states.
More than 50 Chinese companies and their counterparts in ASEAN have signed MoUs regarding cross-border trade in 2017.
China and ASEAN will have more cooperation opportunities in e-commerce with the help of the Belt and Road Initiative.