ASEAN members together have a population of more than 650 million. Indonesia accounts for more than 40% of the region`s population and its population has been the most opposed to the agreement. [17] [13] China first proposed the idea of a free trade area in November 2000. The leaders of ASEAN and China therefore decided to discuss economic integration measures in the region the following year[1][2] In Brunei, they supported the creation of an ASEAN-China free trade area. [3] In addition, a new section on customs procedures and trade facilitation has been added, which specifies operational certification procedures for the application and obtaining of preferential tariffs. The “Form E” established by the protocol verifies the admissibility of products exported for preferential processing. In August 2019, changes to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement came into force and simplified the rules governing trade in goods, services and investment in the ASEAN-China Economic Zone, home to more than 1.8 billion people. This ACFTA for goods would soon be complemented by services and investments, with aggressive monitoring of negotiations on these relevant areas in 2005. The policy around the China-ASEAN agreement is delicate, as ASEAN countries want to avoid China`s dominance while building their economies by interacting with China, especially in the face of slowing demand from US and European markets.

At the same time, China is moving up the manufacturing value chain and losing its need for primary products produced by ASEAN countries, while its search for raw materials, such as minerals and oil, has rapidly become global. Finally, the entry into force in the ASEAN world of zero-right agricultural trade with China from 2010 has raised many concerns. After the first six signatories reached their target by 2010, the CLMV countries (Cambodia, PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam) pursued the same customs policy, with the same goal to be achieved by 2015. [6] In 2010, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area became the largest free trade area in terms of population and the third largest in nominal GDP. It was also the third volume of trade after the European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Area. [12] [7] As there is no end to the trade war between the United States and China, the updated protocol of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement also allows China to have better access to the entire neighbouring region and to diversify its focus on European and American markets. The ASEAN-China Investment Agreement was signed on 15 August 2009 and came into force on 1 January 2010. It aims to create an environment conducive to investors and their investments from ASEAN and China and thus establishes essential safeguards that ensure fair and equitable treatment of investors, non-discriminatory treatment in the event of nationalisation or expropriation, and compensation for losses. It has provisions allowing the free and freely usable transfer of profits, as well as a provision for the settlement of investor-state disputes, allowing investors to resort to arbitration. Last year, the total volume of trade between China and ASEAN countries reached a record $587.87 billion, 14.1% higher than the United States for the first time since 1997. For ASEAN, 2018 was also the ninth consecutive year in which China was ASEAN`s largest trading partner, in part because of China`s geographical proximity and the multilateral trade partnership that began in 2004.

The WIG agreement, signed on 29 November 2004, is one of the enabling agreements under the framework agreement. It has set the terms and conditions for reducing and eliminating tariffs for tariff lines either on the normal route or on sensitive rail.

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