Nanning, Guang Xi (ANTARA News) - ASEAN member countries and China are determined to forge partnerships in environmental protection to ensure green growth in their regions, an ASEAN official said.

"We must change towards sustainable industrial development," said ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Misran Carmer at a Green Innovation and Development seminar held as part of the 8th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), here Wednesday.

China and ASEAN countries are now aware of the risk of environmental damage due to industrial development done in the past.

Misran hoped ASEAN and China could enhance cooperation in environmental protection, both in the technological and policy terms.

China`s Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Ganjie Li pointed out that ASEAN countries and China were located in an adjacent regions which had grown into a newly industrialized part of the world but there were various challenges ahead.

"Therefore we need to work together to realize sustainable development programs which in turn can create a balance of social and economic environment in the region." Li said.

China-ASEAN Director of Environmental Protection Cooperation Tng Dingding hoped that the cooperation between ASEAN and China in the field of environmental protection will be an advanced model of South-South cooperation.

According to Tng Dingding the environmental protection programs in rural areas of China and ASEAN countries is an important partnership for both parties and has been integrated into the action plan for China-ASEAN cooperation which will begin in 2012.

The importance of environmental protection cooperation is also emphasized by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his speech at the expo opening.

PM Najib reminded that the continuous expansion and economic integration of both parties would give huge profit to future generations, but forgetting nature preservation in China-ASEAN region.

CAEXPO is an annual exhibition to promote China`s commercial goods and industry along with the ASEAN member countries in some 4,000 booths from various existing pavilion, it was held since 2004. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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