China to Host First South Asia Expo to Boost Trade

China will host the first South Asia trade expo in Yunnan province in June aimed at promoting economic and cultural cooperation between the two regions.

Gao Shuxun, Vice Governor of Yunnan, said in New Delhi on Jan. 10 that the China-South Asia Expo would be held from June 6 to 10 in Kunming city in which a large number of businessmen from South Asian countries are expected to take part in the exposition.

"This expo is upgraded to a national level from the South Asian Countries Trade Fair, which took pace with great success for the last five consecutive years," said Gao.

The Yunnan province official is leading a high-level delegation to South Asia to promote exchange and cooperation with China.

The theme of the expo, Gao said, would be "promoting all-round China-South Asia cooperation and development and shared opening-up, pragmatic cooperation, mutual benefit and harmonious development".

The expo will include think-tank seminars, ministerial-level consultations and commodity fair.

The expo will be co-hosted annually by China's Ministry of Commerce and the Government of Yunnan Province, he added.

It will be held concurrently with the China Kunming Import and Export Fair.

Peng Gang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor in the Chinese embassy in India, said certain preferential terms like free participation at the expo and free customs clearance for inward consignments had been announced.

"These concessions are a tremendous gesture from the Chinese," said Asit Tripathy, Joint Secretary in India's Ministry of Commerce.

"Yunnan province is the province closest to India in terms of physical distance. Participation in Kunming is very important, particularly from India's eastern and northeastern areas, which are not very active in the export supply chain," added Tripathy.

India accounts for around 80 percent of China's trade with South Asia.

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