China-ASEAN cooperation eyes on digital economy

Photo taken on Nov. 22 shows the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center, the venue of the China-ASEAN Expo. Photo by Yu Xiangquan/People's Daily Online

Digital economy has gradually become a focus of the cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in recent years. As drivers of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and relevant summits are constantly enriching the content of digital economy in forums, meetings and expositions, so as to lay a solid foundation for China-ASEAN digital economy cooperation.

For instance, state-of-the-art products of the internet, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) industries, such as smart robots, intelligent management systems of unmanned aerial vehicles, satellite remote sensing systems, as well as virtual reality products introducing meteorological knowledge, are exhibited at the Advanced Technology Exhibition section at the CAEXPO every year, attracting huge numbers of visitors.

A series of high-end forums are also held by the CAEXPO, building a bridge of cooperation that gathers consensus and align development strategies.

The China-ASEAN E-commerce Summit that was initiated since 2014, as well as relevant e-commerce forums, have kept their focus on cross-border and rural e-commerce issues. They launched a series of high-level dialogues and implemented a batch of e-commerce projects, including a cross-border trade facilitation platform between China and ASEAN and a China-ASEAN cross-border e-commerce industrial park in Nanning, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The 12th CAEXPO held in 2015 started the construction of the China-ASEAN Information Harbor. Since then, the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Forum has developed into a routine activity of the CAEXPO, becoming an important platform for digital economy cooperation between the two sides. Propelled by the forum, a series of digital economy cooperation mechanisms have been established between China and ASEAN countries, and a batch of major projects have been put into operation, such as a fund for the China-ASEAN Information Harbor, the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Digital Economy Alliance, as well as an industrial ecosphere established under the China-ASEAN Information Harbor.

Apart from high-level forums, the CAEXPO also held professional exhibitions to showcase the development of digital technologies, offering a window of cooperation for participants. At the 15th CAEXPO, Chinese tech giant Huawei presented future scenarios of a micro smart city, as well as new experiences of 5G network, demonstrating the profound changes to be brought by the infusion between 5G and traditional industries such as housing, automobile, and manufacturing. Chinese e-commerce platform exhibited its smart logistics system composed of unattended warehouses, delivery stations, drones and UAVs. Thailand-China Technology Transfer Center brought its technologies in cosmetics, farm produce and dietary supplements.

This year marks the ASEAN-China Year of Digital Economy Cooperation. The 17th CAEXPO held a series of activities under the theme of “Building the Belt and Road, Strengthening Digital Economy Cooperation,” so as to comprehensively promote the in-depth cooperation between China and ASEAN countries in digital economy.

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