Competition and bidding wars between Chinese firms impairs ASEAN trade and investment

Three years ago Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outlined a roadmap for a shared “diamond decade” in the relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and pledged to expand bilateral trade to $1 trillion and two-way investment by $150 billion by 2020. Given that China, the world’s second largest economy, and ASEAN, a 10-country economic bloc of some of Asia’s largest manufacturing hubs such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, have already signed free trade agreements that cover goods and trade in services and investment, expanding bilateral trade and investment should not be an impossible mission. China has been ASEAN’s largest trading partner for seven consecutive years and ASEAN has been China’s third-largest trading partner for the past five years. The ASEAN region has been a major investment destination for Chinese firms. Reaching the diamond decade trade and investment goals will only be a matter of time.

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