Remarks by Ambassador Deng Xijun at the 10th Executive Board Meeting of China-ASEAN Inter-Bank Association & the first Executive Board Meeting of ASEAN Plus Three Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism
2020/11/10

Excellency Mr. Zhao Huan, Chairman of the China Development Bank,

Excellency Mr. Nguyen Kim Anh, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam,

Excellency Mr. Phan Duc Tu, Chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam,

Representatives from members of the China-ASEAN Inter-Bank Association and ASEAN Plus Three Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Friends,

It is my great pleasure to attend the 10th Executive Board Meeting of the China-ASEAN Inter-Bank Association and the first Executive Board Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism. The theme of the meeting “Deepening Financial Cooperation for a Sustainable Growth in a Post-Pandemic World” embodies the shared will and resolve of regional countries to jointly meet challenges and advance economic recovery. I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Mission to ASEAN, warm congratulations on the convening of the meeting and sincere thanks to friends and colleagues present today for your support for and engagement in East Asian regional cooperation.

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has seriously threatened people’s lives and health and brought severe setbacks to economic and social development in our region. In response, the Plus Three countries and ASEAN have stood side by side and strengthened cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels. Again we have set an example of international cooperation against the pandemic and underscored the fine tradition of solidarity, mutual support and assistance among APT countries in tidying over the crisis.

In our fight against the pandemic, our state leaders, foreign and health ministers have maintained close communication, in particular through the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit, the ASEAN-China Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN Plus Three Special Health Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19, providing strategic guidance for coordinated regional response. We have shared experience and methods of diagnosis and treatment and assisted each other with medical supplies and equipment. The Plus three countries have provided financial contribution to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and supported the establishment of the ASEAN reserve of emergency medical supplies, while exploring an APT reserve of essential medical supplies. We are also stepping up cooperation on vaccine research, development and deployment. These joint endeavors have been conducive to the control of the pandemic region-wide, laying a solid foundation for recovery.

When it comes to economic recovery, efforts are being made to establish “fast tracks” and “green lanes” for the essential movement of personnel and goods and to maintain stable supply and industrial chains. Despite the sluggish global economy, China-ASEAN trade has grown by a large margin. In the first three quarters of this year, two-way trade reached 481.8 billion US dollars, up by 5 percent year on year, making ASEAN China’s largest trading partner for the first time ever in history. Now we are each other’s largest trading partner. China’s direct investment in ASEAN countries reached 10.7 billion US dollars, up by 76.6 percent year on year. At the same time, China and ASEAN countries are jointly moving forward Belt and Road cooperation, with continued new progress in key infrastructure projects. This has provided additional boost to regional economic recovery.

As a priority of East Asian cooperation, financial cooperation is among the most productive areas in the APT framework. In the context of the pandemic, it is even more urgent and critical to deepen financial cooperation as a way of addressing the pandemic and economic recovery. So far this year, APT countries have held a series of meetings, including the Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting and the Economic Ministers’ Meeting, where important consensus was reached to maintain regional economic and financial stability and enhance macroeconomic policy coordination.

Tangible results have been achieved in APT financial cooperation, despite the impact of the pandemic. For instance, the revised Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) Agreement entered into force on 23 June, the Medium-Term Implementation Plan (2020-2024) of the APT Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) was adopted, and the Strategic Directions of ASEAN+3 Finance Process and ASEAN+3 Asian Bond Markets Initiative Medium Term Road Map (2019-2022) are being implemented. Next week, our leaders will adopt the Statement on Strengthening ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation for Economic and Financial Resilience in the Face of Emerging Challenges at the APT Summit, which I believe will provide important guidance and a strong impetus for East Asia to prevail over the pandemic and make our region more resilient.

Since its establishment in 2010, the China-ASEAN Inter-Bank Association has carried out fruitful cooperation in mechanism building, banking services and capacity building, and has grown into an important multilateral mechanism of financial cooperation between China and ASEAN. The APT Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, which was born last year, has further diversified financing channels of the region and served as a new financial platform for economic and trade cooperation between China, Japan, the ROK and ASEAN countries. Our close cooperation will significantly strengthen regional response to COVID-19 and boost economic growth. We welcome the joint statements on COVID-19 response to be issued among the Association members. We hope countries will make the most of these multilateral mechanisms to provide more financing services and capacity building, support projects in the health industry, clean energy, and digital economy in particular, thus contributing to green recovery and sustainable growth in the post-pandemic era.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

In face of the pandemic and its severe impact, the Chinese government has taken swift, targeted and coordinated measures to seek an effective pandemic control and steady economic rebound. The efforts have been paying off in a notable way. China’s GDP has seen positive growth for two consecutive quarters, up by 4.9 percent in the third one, with a more active market, stable employment and protection of people’s livelihoods. Over the past week, the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) was a big success, with the number of visitors reached 400,000, one of the largest events worldwide since the outbreak of the pandemic. China has taken the lead in fighting the virus and resuming economy, which highlights the strong resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy. The 5th Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held recently adopted the 14th Five-Year Plan for China’s social and economic development for the coming five years, and outlined the vision for the next 15 years. China will continue to follow an open, innovative, coordinated and green approach to development for shared benefits, and foster a new development paradigm, with the domestic circulation as the mainstay and with domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. ASEAN and other neighboring countries are in the best position to benefit first from China’s regained growth, and new impetus will be injected to the economic recovery of the region and beyond.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, the end of the pandemic is still not in sight. Many countries are suffering from the second wave of shock. It remains a daunting task to bring the virus under control, stabilize the economy and protect people’s livelihoods. International cooperation in the spirit of multilateralism is the only path toward the final victory.

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, and it will also be the Year of China-ASEAN Cooperation for Sustainable Development. With our joint commitment to multilateralism and the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will work with ASEAN countries, Japan, and the ROK to turn the COVID-19 crisis into opportunities for development and build on the momentum of East Asian cooperation. Together we will advance economic integration in East Asia and make greater contributions to peace, stability, development and prosperity in our region.

Last but not least, I wish the meeting full success. Thank you!

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