Since the implementation of ASEAN Free Trade Area
(AFTA) agreement to reduce import tax to 0% at the beginning of this year, exporters foresee a healthy overall growth in 2010, despite the slow recovery of the global economic environment.
Among third-party FTAs in effect within the Asia Pacific region, the ASEAN Free Trade Area
(AFTA) was the most utilized, with about a third of firms engaged in trade (33.
If an ASEAN free trade area
can be made to function strongly, then laggards like the Philippines and Laos and Cambodia can expect to benefit economically in the same way that Portugal, Spain and Greece have boomed since joining the EU.
As party to the ASEAN Free Trade Area
(AFTA) tariff reduction scheme, Malaysia has begun to lower import duties this year.
The ASEAN Free Trade Area
allows British firms low-duty access to the regional market.
The plant has since June exported 3-Series limousines to Indonesia to exploit a low tariff regime provided under the ASEAN Free Trade Area
Regardless of ASEAN's motive, some analysts wonder how ASEAN is going to proceed with the project when it has yet to finalize its intra-regional tariff regime under the ASEAN Free Trade Area
Tan Sri Dato' Dr Lau Ban Tin, director of BIG Industries Bhd, told Malaysian businesses to react to the slowdown and to the future challenges of globalisation, the advent of the ASEAN Free Trade Area
(AFTA) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Indonesia should enter the Asean Free Trade Area
Agreement, which is to remove all trade barriers including those on oil products by 2015.
But Japanese firms, mainly in the general machinery and automotive sectors, are showing strong interest in investing in ASEAN as the group is moving toward the formation of an ASEAN Free Trade Area
by 2002, it said.
To meet the economic challenge of China's attractiveness to foreign investments, the ASEAN countries will have to combine their markets in an ASEAN free trade area
," Lee said.
ASEAN Free Trade Area
, APEC, and the WTO: How They Fit Together