China proposing US$ 15-Bn loan to ASEAN countries

August 6, 2009 9:21 am 

By Vincent Low

NANNING, Aug. 6 — The Chinese government is proposing a US$ 10 billion fund to boost economic development in the Pan Beibu Gulf Region amid the global economic crisis.

"The fund will be utilized to finance infrastructure, energy resource and information communication technology (ICT) projects initiated by China and Asean countries around the gulf," said Guo Shengkun, Chairman of Guangxi People's Congress at the opening of the 2009 Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum here Thursday.

He said the Chinese government has also proposed a US$ 15 billion loan to Asean member countries with the aim of enhancing regional cooperation.

Guo said the two proposals will be submitted at the upcoming China-ASEAN Ministerial conference for further discussion.

Meanwhile, the two-day forum was held at the Liyuan Resort International Conference center here. This year's theme was "Co-build A New China-ASEAN Growth Pole-Enhance Cooperation and Turn Crisis in Opportunities".

Guo said the forum will focus on the choice of projects, financial support for the projects and also the Beibu Gulf region and ASEAN secondary regional development.

He also called on the countries in the Pan Beibu Gulf region to work closely in countering the current economic challenges and making a reality of the planned projects.

"We have to avoid all kinds of trade protection, as it will only get things worse and prolong the economic crisis.

"We must capitalize the opportunity provided by the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area in 2010, to further expand the open market, get rid of any form of trade blockage to stimulate regional development," he said, adding that more investments could be made by all parties.

The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Investment Agreement talks have concluded and it will be signed soon, he said.

A total of 400 senior officials from China and the Pan Beibu Gulf countries as well as experts and scholars from various fields are attending the forum here. The region covers the southern coastal provinces of China, Vietnam, as well as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. (PNA/Bernama)



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