Agreement on FTA between ASEAN and partners enters into force
09:52 | 14/01/2010
VGP - The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA), which is regarded the single most comprehensive economic agreement, has entered into force on January 1, 2010, according to the official website of ASEAN.

AANZFTA is regarded the single most comprehensive economic agreement between ASEAN and its dialogue partners

The AANZFTA establishment agreement was signed in February 2009 in Thailand with a view to creating a trans-Pacific free trade zone comprising a market of 600 million people with a combined GDP of US $2.7 trillion.

Eight of the 12 Parties - Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Việt Nam - are now implementing the Agreement and the commitments they have made therein.

"This is indeed a significant development particularly in our efforts to slowly integrate the markets in this region," Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, stated.

"What makes this particular development more meaningful is the fact that the AANZFTA is being implemented amidst such economically challenging times," Dr. Surin added.

The Agreement is expected to substantially reduce barriers to trade in goods and services, thereby, opening up a wide range of opportunities for trade and investment in the region not only for the Parties but non-Parties as well.

Dr. Surin encouraged the rest of the Parties to the Agreement to endeavor to be on board to enable them to reap the benefits from the Agreement as early as possible.

Under the AANZFTA, tariff reductions started gradually on January 1, 2010 with free trade to be fully realized by 2015.

The Agreement with Australia-New Zealand is unique in that the goods, services and investment components were negotiated in a single undertaking as compared to FTAs with other ASEAN Dialogue Partners where they are negotiated sequentially.

Source: ASEAN Website

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