Asean Has Free Trade Agreement With The Following Countries

Southeast Asian heads of state and government met in Bangkok for a three-day, trade-dominated summit. ASEAN members are working to finalize a China-backed plan for the creation of the world`s largest free trade area. The United States, the European Union and Japan continued to be ASEAN`s main export markets. Japan, followed by the United States and the EU, was ASEAN`s main source of imports. In the first half of 2002-03, ASEAN-6 trade with major markets increased by 11.71% for exports and 6.91% for imports. However, ASEAN exports to the United States and India, as well as imports from Canada and India, declined over the same period. [Figure 5] The AFTA agreement was signed in Singapore on 28 January 1992. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined the country in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. The AFTA now includes the ten ASEAN countries.

The four laggards had to sign the AFTA agreement for ASEAN membership, but were given longer delays in complying with THE AFTA tariff reduction obligations. One notable absentee was India, which withdrew from the RCEP negotiations last year due to concerns about opening up its agricultural and production sectors to increased foreign competition. ASEAN has a similar free trade agreement with India, which is being phased in and is reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and India. In 2016, import and export duties on more than 4,000 products will be abolished. This will have a similar effect to that of the free trade agreement with China, as it opens the Indian consumer market to ASEAN manufactured goods. Indeed, India has a considerable middle-class consumer market in its own right of about 250 million, although it is not expected to grow as rapidly in the short term as China. The ASEAN-India free trade agreement will also be extended to services, discussions are already at an advanced stage and a conclusion is expected before the end of the year. For more details on the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, click here. The pact reduces tariffs, opens up the services sector and establishes common rules on trade within the bloc. The agreement covers trade, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunications and copyright. ASEAN, the association of Southeast Asian nations, is gaining importance as a trading bloc and is the third largest in the world after the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. It includes the Asian Tigers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (ASEAN 6) with smaller players such as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, with a total GDP of $2.31 trillion (2012) and hosts about 600 million people.

The trade agreement allows China – by far the largest economy and the most populous country in the region – to call itself “a champion of globalization and multilateral cooperation,” Gareth Leather, Asia`s chief capital economic economist, said in a report. Fifteen nations in the Asia-Pacific region have concluded the world`s largest free trade agreement, which they hope will accelerate the recovery of their economies devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. In order to encourage increased use of the CEPTAFTA system, a major transformation has also been adopted as an alternative rule for determining the origin of CEPT products. The CEPT Rules of Origin Task Force is currently working on key processing rules for certain product sectors, including wheat flour, iron and steel, and the eleven priority integration sectors covered by Bali Concord II. ASEAN exports increased their upward trend in the two years following the 1997-98 financial crisis and peaked in 2000, when total exports were valued at $408 billion.