Guangdong has reached a turning point in the construction of its 21st Century Maritime Silk Road as it deepens cooperation with countries in southeast Asia, according to provincial officials.
The economic and trade cooperation among Guangdong and countries from Associations of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was deepened after ASEAN became the province's third largest trading partner in 2013.
The total volume of Guangdong's trade with ASEAN increased from 55.96 billion dollars in 2007 to 102.21 billion dollars in 2013 with an average growth rate per annum of 10.6 percent, according to provincial statistics.
“The economic and trade cooperation between Guangdong and ASEAN countries enriches the market supply of both sides,” said Wu Jun, the Deputy Director of the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province.
Local corporations such as Huawei, ZTE, Midea, TCL and CSFAC have increased efforts to develop markets in ASEAN countries which contain natural resources such as coal, petroleum, palm oil, natural rubber, wood, jade, copper and tin.
Guangdong is located at the center of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and occupies air and shipping routes used by most ASEAN countries. Shipping fees from Guangdong to ASEAN countries are relatively low, according to Guangdong government officials who say that the province will establish production bases and regional headquarters in ASEAN countries.