Trade between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors jumped 47.2% to US$185.4 billion from January to August, boosted by China’s free trade agreement with Asean, the South China Morning Post reported. Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations saw exports to China jump 54.2% over the period to US$97.3 billion, according to Bronson Hsieh Chih-chien, chairman of Evergreen Marine (2603.TPE). "(The) expansion of China’s domestic market brings more business opportunities to Asean countries," Hsieh said, noting that China could import more raw materials from Asean member states, including timber, palm oil, fruit and seafood. Hsieh added that shipping firms are already benefiting from the jump in regional trade.
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