After 10 years of long negotiations, the door to free trade between China and ASEAN finally opened on January 1 this year. Since then, China, which has a population of 1.3 billion, and ASEAN 10, which has a population of 600 million, have established closer trade relations.
In the first quarter of this year, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area began to show its power. Data from the Ministry of Commerce shows that from January to March, China-ASEAN import and export trade amounted to 62.9 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 61%, which was higher than the 44% year-on-year increase in Chinaâ€™s total foreign trade volume. ASEAN became the third largest export market in China and The fourth largest trading partner.
Riding on the spring breeze initiated by the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, China's auto exports to ASEAN are also full of vitality. According to customs statistics, in the first quarter, China exported a total of 12,866 vehicles to 10 ASEAN countries, which represented a year-on-year increase of 120%, which was much higher than the 52% increase in auto exports, and accounted for 12% of the countryâ€™s total automobile exports.
Over the years, in order to protect the domestic auto industry, many ASEAN countries not only imposed high tariffs on automobile imports, but also set up many non-tariff trade barriers. Prior to 2005, Malaysia had imposed an import tariff of up to 300% on vehicles with a displacement of 3.0 liters or more (currently, it has dropped to 50%) and implemented an import licensing system. Indonesia, which has the largest market potential, has imposed an import tariff of 65% on vehicles with a displacement of less than 1.5 liters and an import tariff of 70% on vehicles with 1.5 to 3.0 liters. These tariff and non-tariff trade barriers have seriously hindered the pace of entry of automakers in other countries into the local market.
According to an agreement reached between China and 10 ASEAN countries, starting from January 1 this year, 90% of Chinaâ€™s old ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand) will achieve zero tariff; 2015 China and ASEANâ€™s four new member countries (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar) will also achieve zero tariffs on 90% of their goods.
The gradual opening of tariff gates has enabled Chinese auto companies that have grown up and grown in the domestic market to see new business opportunities. However, some experts have warned that cars are classified as sensitive products by most ASEAN countries, and countries with auto industries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand are subject to high tariffs on automobile imports. These barriers will not disappear quickly because of the launch of the free trade zone.
Within the ASEAN countries, there have been concerns about the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. Some Southeast Asian producers worry that the influx of cheap Chinese goods will threaten their survival. Industrial organizations in Indonesia and the Philippines have strongly urged the government to protect vulnerable industries. Hartatori, a member of the Parliament of Indonesia, said that some â€œfragile industries are not yet ready to compete with imported Chinese products. If the government is now implementing zero tariffs, these industries will certainly die out.â€ Among the 12 industries he cited, including automotive zero part.
â€œThe opposition calls will undoubtedly delay ASEANâ€™s reduction of Chinaâ€™s auto import tariffs.â€ Wang Yangle, president of Chen Xiang International Group, which has been in auto sales for more than 50 years and has a sales network in 10 ASEAN countries, told reporters.
Why is China's auto export volume to ASEAN high in the first quarter of this year? According to Wang Yangle, according to the current situation, the Southeast Asian economy is recovering, the automotive market as a whole is improving, and Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries witnessed a significant increase in automobile sales in the first quarter of this year. The first benefit is the production of cars in Thailand and other ASEAN countries. Big country.
The predictions of relevant ASEAN institutions confirmed Wang Yangleâ€™s judgment. A research report released by the Department of Chinese Affairs of Bangkok Bank Bangkok recently stated that in 2010 Thailandâ€™s total vehicle production is expected to increase by 20% from the previous year to 1.2 million vehicles. Among them, Thailand's domestic car sales are expected to increase by about 9% from 2009 to reach 600,000; automobile exports are expected to increase by 8% to 12% to reach 575,000 to 595,000 vehicles. The Indonesian Automobile Industry Association (Gakindo) predicts that Indonesiaâ€™s auto production will exceed 700,000 vehicles this year, an increase of 50.6% year-on-year, of which 100,000 will be exported.
An important background of the above prediction is that according to the agreement, the six old ASEAN member states have reduced the import tariffs on automobiles and auto parts to zero from January 1 this year. Based on this, multinational auto companies have expanded their production scale in ASEAN or built joint ventures.
The vast majority of Japanese, European, and American multinational auto companies have production bases in Southeast Asia, and Chinaâ€™s export of cars to ASEAN countries has no advantage in the short term. However, commercial vehicles in China have great potential in ASEAN. Except for Thailand, the production capacity of commercial vehicles in other ASEAN countries is negligible, and the variety of commercial vehicles produced in Thailand is very limited, providing a vast market space for commercial vehicle companies in China.
In recent years, most of the cars that China exports to ASEAN are commercial vehicles. In the first quarter of this year, China used a total of 10,783 vehicles for ASEAN exporters, which accounted for 84% of the total ASEAN auto exports. Last year, total sales of ASEAN's 10 countries were about 1.9 million, of which commercial vehicles accounted for 1/3.
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