A variety of sugar products are on display during the 5th China-ASEAN Sugar Exhibition. [Photo/gxNews.com.cn]

NANNING — The 5th China-ASEAN Sugar Exhibition opened Saturday in Nanning, capital city of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

“Low mechanization rate is a main factor that restricts the development of the sugar industry in China,” said Zhu Beiwei, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, in a forum of the event.

The country has been cooperating with ASEAN members to cope with the challenges. Guangxi is to set up a China-ASEAN industry park for agricultural machinery in the city of Nanning, with the ambition to attract more than 100 companies from home and abroad to accelerate the mechanization of agricultural production, according to Guangxi Agricultural Mechanization Association.

Guangxi and ASEAN have a long history of cooperation in sugar production. Benjamas Tanvetyanont, Thailand Consul-General in Nanning, said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that Guangxi plays an active role in the sugar industry and has important cooperation with Thailand.

Guangxi Nanning East Asia Sugar Group, a Sino-Thai joint-venture, has been operating in Guangxi for more than 28 years and is now the biggest sugar producer in the region and the third biggest in China, said the Consul-General.

As China’s largest sugar manufacturing base, Guangxi provides about 60 percent of the country’s sucrose production.