Asian economic leaders converge in Kunming Fair
KUNMING CITY, China—Asian economic leaders on Thursday called for stronger and deeper cooperation as they gathered here for a week-long exposition, trade fair and cooperation forum.
Thousands of guests, including Chinese and foreign dignitaries, attended the opening of the 5th China-South Asia Exposition, the 25th China Kunming Import and Export Fair (or Kunming Fair), and the 1st China-South Asia Cooperation Forum held at the Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center.
The expo and Kunming Fair were organized jointly by the Chinese Ministry and Commerce and the People’s Government of Yunnan Province.
Yunnan Governor Ruan Chengfa led the kick-off ceremony.
“The most important goal of China-South Asia exposition is to strengthen cooperation between South Asian countries with East Asia, in the fields of economy, commerce, science and technology in which the People’s Republic of China plays a pivotal role,” Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, deputy chief executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said in his opening remark.
An English version of his speech was furnished to the media after the event.
The expo, Mohaqiq said, provides a “unique opportunity” for participating parties to promote and expand their investments and trade not only in South Asia but also in other parts of the world.
But in the face of development and progress in the region, Mohaqiq lamented that international terrorism and security remained a “huge challenge.”
“Afghanistan has suffered the most from it,” he added.
For the Minister of Commerce of the Union of Myanmar, Than Myint, the gathering “truly reflects the strong friendship and cooperation between China, South and South East Asian countries.”
“We are aware that the Chinese government has proposed a development strategy in 2013, which focused on the regional connectivity and the cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Eurasian countries and Asian countries, which is known as the Belth and Road Initiative,” Myint said.
“This initiative also aims to embrace a brighter future of the countries in the region. In this context, Myanmar will fully cooperate for the implementation of this initiative,” he added.
More than 80 countries were expected to participate in the expo themed “Integrating Into the Belt and Road Initiative and Promoting Win-win Cooperation.”
The exposition and Kunming Fair will run from June 14 to 20. /jpv
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