ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
A Single Asean FTA after a plethora of FTA’s?
21st November, 2011
(BALI): Asean and its dialogue partners are considering enlarging the Asean-East Asia economic integration and the possibility of having a single free trade agreement (FTA) between the region and its trading partners in East Asia.
Currently, Asean has individual FTAs, namely the Asean-China FTA (2005), Asean-Korea FTA (2006), Asean-Japan FTA (2009), Asean-India FTA (2010) and the Asean-Australia and Asean-New Zealand FTAs (2010).
Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said to ensure Asean centrality is maintained in the enlargement process, Asean economic ministers have drawn up a set of basic principles in an effort to widen and deepen Asian’s relations with its FTA partners.
In this context, he said the 19th Asean Summit, which ended 19th November 2011 (Saturday), had endorsed the establishment of the Asean Framework for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and a working plan to establish a template for Asean+1 FTA.
The initiative will take into consideration the East Asia Free Trade Area Asean+3 and the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Asean+6), he told Malaysian reporters here yesterday.
Mustapa said the summit agreed to accept Japan and China’s suggestion to establish three working groups, namely for trade in goods, trade in services and investment to fastrack the integration study.
All three working groups will study in detail the modality for the economic integration and FTA partners will be invited to participate in the working groups.
The minister said the summit had directed that all three working groups finalise its work on the template and modality before the 21st Asean Summit is held November next year.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below