Two Panda coins struck at the Shenzhen Guobao Mint were issued to mark the 2013 ASEAN Expo.
Disagreements and conflicts between countries capture headlines. Less noticed but often more important is cooperation and advancement. A fine example of this is ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Formed in 1967, its purpose is to enable economic growth, social progress and cultural exchanges. It also provides member nations with a forum to settle their disputes peacefully.
The member states of ASEAN are Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In 1997 ASEAN created an organization called ASEAN Plus Three to foster ties with China, South Korea and Japan.
China is active within the organization and in 2002 signed the ASEAN-China Free Trade area, or ACTFA. This agreement allows member states to import and export goods freely with the People’s Republic of China. The ACTFA is the third largest free trading area in the world.
As part of its support for ASEAN, China attended the 2013 ASEAN Summit in Brunei last October along with the ASEAN Expo held at the same time. One of the main exhibitors at the Expo was a Chinese company. Of more interest to numismatists are the two Panda coins that China issued to mark the ASEAN Expo. The new Pandas are a two-coin set of a 100 Yuan ¼ oz. gold and a 10 Yuan 1 oz. silver. They feature the well-known 2013 Panda design of three bears drinking. This design has been reduced in size to make space for an outer ring on the reverse that reads, “10th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Expo.” The same message appears on the obverse in Chinese, “中国-东盟博览会10周年纪念.”
The two Pandas were struck at the Shenzhen Guobao Mint. The gold coin has a mintage of 15,000 while the silver’s mintage is 30,000. Both coins are important new additions to the Panda coin family.
Peter Anthony is an expert on Chinese modern coins with a particular focus on Panda coins. He is an analyst for the NGC Chinese Modern Coin Price Guide as well as a consultant on Chinese modern coins.