China-ASEAN trade surges

Aug. 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM

DANANG, Vietnam, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations surged with the opening of a free-trade agreement, a Chinese official said.

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said trade between China and the members of ASEAN jumped 49.6 percent January through July to $161 billion. The first of the year was the effective start date to the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the China Daily reported Friday.

ASEAN nations include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The agreement has given trade a boost that favors the ASEAN group, China's fourth-largest trading partner, which has come away with a $7.54 billion surplus this year.

Chen released the figures at the ninth China-ASEAN economic ministers meeting, held in Danang, Vietnam.

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