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 November 21 ,2007

More room for ties between ASEAN and China to grow: PM

SINGAPORE : Ties between ASEAN and China are substantial, but there is still room for further growth.
This is according to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was speaking at the ASEAN-China Summit in Singapore on Tuesday.
During his meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Mr Lee said China plays an important and constructive role to promote regional stability.
Furthermore, a strong partnership between ASEAN and China will create a favourable environment for Asian countries to grow.

China's relationship with ASEAN is the most extensive of the group's dialogue partners. However, there is even more scope for cooperation.
On the economic front, ASEAN said it hopes to conclude the investment chapter of the Free Trade Agreement with China as soon as possible, since the group has already sealed the Goods Chapter and Services Agreement.
After their meeting, the leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement, which will standardise rules on food safety between ASEAN and China.
ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong, explained: "Under this agreement, (for) Chinese products coming into ASEAN... we will work with a kind of safety measure... and ASEAN products to China will also have to measure up on food safety.
"It's a good document to have, it's a good area of cooperation, because we have increased our exports to China and they have also increased their exports to ASEAN, and more and more of our consumers would rely on what has been certified and approved by our relevant authorities." - CNA/ms

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