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China-ASEAN Expo opens in south China

Photo taken on Sept. 12, 2018 shows the opening ceremony of the 15th China-ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Huang Xiaobang)

NANNING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 15th China-ASEAN Expo opened Wednesday in south China's Nanning city, highlighting trade and investment among China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other countries along the Belt and Road.

With the theme of "Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Forging the China-ASEAN Community of Innovation," this year's expo will feature a host of exhibitions, forums and exchange programs, aimed at lifting the friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN to a new level.

Chinese and foreign exhibitors have shown enthusiasm for the four-day event. More than 2,700 firms, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, will showcase their products at the event, up 2.6 percent from the previous event.

A concurrent event, the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, will also be held from Wednesday to Saturday.

Innovation is a highlight of this year's expo. China and ASEAN countries will display their latest progress on upgrading the manufacturing sector and better integrating industrial and value chains.

Over the past 14 years, the expo has helped China-ASEAN trade. China has expanded its export of electronic products, construction materials, power equipment and construction machines, as well as technology in new energy, high-speed trains and agriculture to ASEAN member states. The bloc's food, daily goods and bulk commodities are favored by Chinese buyers.

China has been the largest trading partner of ASEAN for nine consecutive years. Last year, trade between the two sides exceeded 500 billion U.S. dollars.

People watch a high-speed train model at the exhibition hall of the 15th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 12, 2018. The expo opened here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Zhang Ailin)

People select jadewares at the exhibition hall of the 15th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 12, 2018. The expo opened here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Zhao Dingzhe)

People visit the 15th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 12, 2018. The expo opened here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)

People take photos of food from Myanmar at the exhibition hall of the 15th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 12, 2018. The expo opened here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)