Asean Free Trade Agreements
Although China already has a number of bilateral trade agreements, this is the first time it has signed a regional multilateral trade pact. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)  is a trade agreement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that supports local trade and local production in all ASEAN countries and facilitates economic integration with regional and international allies.    It is one of the largest and most important free trade zones in the world and, with its network of dialogue partners, has promoted some of the world`s largest multilateral forums and blocs, including Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, the East Asia Summit and regional economic partnership.       This new analysis proposes to examine two key areas, including port facilities and competitiveness in Internet services. According to the report, reforms in these areas could increase ASEAN trade by 7.5% ($22 billion) and 5.7% ($17 billion). On the other hand, a reduction in tariffs on all ASEAN members on the South-East Asia regional average would increase intra-regional trade by about 2% ($6.3 billion).  Other ASEAN treaties are being negotiated, including with Japan, which already has a number of global economic partnerships, while South Korea already has a free trade agreement. Both resemble the above – the reduction of more than 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and these countries. ASEAN national authorities are also traditionally reluctant to share or cede sovereignty to the authorities of other ASEAN members (although ASEAN trade ministries regularly conduct cross-border visits to conduct on-site checks as part of anti-dumping investigations). Unlike the EU or NAFTA, joint teams to ensure compliance and control of violations have not been widely used. Instead, ASEAN national authorities must rely on the verification and analysis of other ASEAN national authorities to determine whether AFTA`s measures, such as the rule of origin, are being complied with. Differences of opinion may arise between national authorities. Again, the ASEAN secretariat can help resolve a dispute, but it has no right to resolve it.
During the same period, ASEAN officials signed five major free trade agreements with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Such measures have helped to reduce tariffs, streamline rules and, in general, simplify export and import procedures. As a result, these economic integration initiatives offer considerable opportunities for ASEAN-based businesses. 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. Following the fall in ASEAN exports to $366.8 billion in 2001 as a result of the economic slowdown in the United States and Europe and the recession in Japan, ASEAN exports recovered in 2002 to $380.2 billion.