China-ASEAN FTA is a model for mutually beneficial cooperation among developing countries

On Feb. 21, 2019, there were dozens of container trucks in West Java’s Sukabumi Regency, with big banners saying “mangosteen for China” in front of them. It was the export release and send-off ceremony of 933 ton of mangosteen by the Indonesian agriculture ministry.

The then Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman hailed this direct export of mangosteen from Indonesia to China export, saying: "The export process will be much and much easier in the future."

According to Amran, the export of mangosteen has been experiencing rapid growth with 38,000 tons of mangosteen exported in 2018 (from 9,000 tons in 2017) thanks to the direct export processes onto Chinese market, the country’s largest mangosteen export destination.

The close China-Indonesia mangosteen trade is the miniature and the fruit sown of expanding and deepening cooperation of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA). Since the full establishment in 2010, the implementation of the free trade agreement has brought visible and tangible benefit to the people in this region.

Take the agricultural sector for example, the preferential policies of the FTA have enabled tropical food of ASEAN to enter the lives of ordinary Chinese people and let China’s fruit go to the supermarkets in ASEAN countries.

Wan Latiff, CEO of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, a government agency oversees external trade, told Xinhua earlier that, Malaysia's specialty fruits and others have been welcomed in the Chinese market.

Starting this year, Malaysia's Musang King durian is available in Chinese market after the country's authorities approved import of whole frozen durian and it shows the encouraging progress of the China-Malaysia trade cooperation, Latiff said.

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