Hundreds of exhibitors from China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states gathered at a pearl and jade festival that opened Saturday. The fifth Beihai International Pearl Festival, which opened in Beihai in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, came on the heels of the 10th China-ASEAN Expo. The three-day event will feature pearl exhibitions, industry forums as well as domestic and foreign cultural performances. Meanwhile, sculptures made of shells, horns and porcelain will be on show, according to the festival\'s organizers. The festival will enhance economic and cultural exchanges between the coastal city of Beihai and ASEAN member states, said Wang Xiaodong, the Communist Party chief of Beihai. \"The event will show the the outside world the advantages of Beihai\'s resources and its development outlook,\" he said. \"This could help create business opportunities and boost the local economy.\" Beihai is one of China\'s biggest pearl production bases, with around 25,000 people working in the industry. Official statistics showed that the city\'s total trade volume in the pearl-related industries topped 800 million yuan (130 million U.S. dollars) in 2012.