August 29, 2008
Asean broadens trade ties in Asia Pacific
FTA with India to be signed in December
EU deal remains a challenge
August 28, 2008
Asean, Australia, New Zealand close to sealing trade pact
August 19, 2008
Taiwan lobbies Asean for dialogue partner status
August 17, 2008
Asean-Australia-New Zealand FTA negotiations:
Philippines to push for local dairy industry development
August 9, 2008
Asean, India FTA set for December
July 24, 2008
Japan, Asean reaffirm plan for FTA
July 18, 2008
Vietnam to improve trade, transport links with China
July 7, 2008
Cambodia, Japan to wrap up trade pact by end July
June 25, 2008
Thailand seeks to resume FTA talks with US;
US-Malaysia negotiations continue
May 28, 2008
FTA to take effect July 1
Bilateral FTAs in Asean may impede businesses
As countries in Southeast Asia speed up the economic integration drive they are facing some of its toughest challenges in the form of regional diversity and gaps in modernization, reported Singapore’s state news agency Channel News Asia.
The agency quoted analysts as saying at a symposium that the numerous free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by groupings such as Asean and individual Asian nations pose as obstacles to businesses in the region.
They said many overlapping free trade agreements between individual countries actually impede business activities in the region, noting that the agreements create a messy web that can cause difficulties for companies, such as small- and medium-sized firms, trying to expand regionally.
"We have a multitude of overlapping FTAs which we call Asian noodle ball - it can be quite messy,” said Masahiro Kawai, dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute Japan.
He recommended a wider FTA that covers the entire Asian region along the lines of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
"There's obviously the usual problem of envy, lack of political will or some political changes we see in the respective countries. But these are things which are manageable, as long as they don't boil over," said former Asean secretary general Ong Keng Yong.
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