Free Trade Agreement Asian

Free Trade Agreement in Asia: What You Need to Know

A free trade agreement (FTA) is an agreement between two or more countries to reduce or eliminate tariffs, quotas, and other trade barriers on goods and services. The main objective of an FTA is to promote economic growth and enhance trade between the participating countries. The Asian region has seen an increase in FTA agreements in recent years, with several countries coming together to form a comprehensive trade agreement. In this article, we`ll look at some of the free trade agreements in Asia, their benefits and challenges, and the impact they have on businesses and consumers.

The ASEAN Free Trade Area

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional bloc made up of ten countries in Southeast Asia. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) was established in 1992 to promote economic integration within the region. The agreement aimed to eliminate tariffs on goods traded among ASEAN member states by 2015. The AFTA agreement has since been expanded to include FTAs with other countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.

The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is the largest FTA in the region, covering a population of over 1.9 billion people. The agreement has been in place since 2010 and aims to eliminate tariffs on 90% of traded goods. The agreement has contributed to increased trade between the two regions, with China becoming ASEAN`s largest trading partner.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement between ASEAN countries and six other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India. The RCEP aims to create a single market of over 3.4 billion people, accounting for over 30% of global GDP.

The RCEP would be the largest FTA in the world, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property, and e-commerce. Negotiations for the agreement have been ongoing since 2012, with a final agreement expected in 2020.

The Benefits and Challenges of Free Trade Agreements

Free trade agreements have several benefits for businesses and consumers. Lower trade barriers lead to increased trade and investment, which can stimulate economic growth and job creation. FTAs can also lead to lower prices for consumers by allowing goods to be imported at lower costs.

However, there are also challenges associated with FTAs. Some argue that they can lead to job losses, particularly in industries that face competition from imported goods. FTAs can also have negative environmental impacts by promoting industries that rely on unsustainable practices. Additionally, there can be challenges in negotiating agreements between countries with different economic systems and cultural practices.


Free trade agreements are an important tool for promoting economic growth and enhancing trade between countries. The Asian region has seen an increase in FTAs in recent years, as countries seek to promote regional integration and enhance their global competitiveness. While FTAs have benefits and challenges, countries that participate in FTAs ultimately stand to gain from increased trade and investment. The success of FTAs in Asia will depend on balanced negotiation and implementation, as well as broader government policies that support sustainable development.


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