Beijing: Bilateral trade between China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) has declined this year due to a weak global economy, a senior official said on Tuesday. Bilateral trade between China and Asean rose to $472 billion in 2015 from $7 billion in 1991, with an annual growth rate of 18.5 per cent, Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan said at a news conference. During the January-May 2016 period, bilateral trade fell 7.1 per cent year on year to $173 billion, Xinhua news agency reported. The two sides are trying their best to "get bilateral-trade growth back on track as soon as possible", Gao said. China currently is Asean's biggest trading partner, while Asean is China's third biggest. By the end of May, two-way investment had exceeded $160 billions, with Asean remaining a major destination for Chinese companies.