Asean Free Trade Agreements With Other Countries
The general exceptions concern products that an ASEAN Member deems necessary for the protection of national security, public morals, the protection of the life and health of persons, animals or plants, and the protection of objects of artistic, historical or archaeological value. ASEAN members agreed to adopt zero tariffs by 2010 for the original signatories on virtually all imports and for cmLV countries by 2015. A notable absentee has been India, which withdrew from RCEP negotiations last year and raised concerns about opening up its agricultural and manufacturing sector to increased foreign competition. The AFTA agreement was signed in Singapore on 28 January 1992. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members, namely Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. AFTA now includes the ten ASEAN countries. The four latecomers had to sign the AFTA agreement to join ASEAN, but were given longer deadlines to meet AFTA`s tariff reduction obligations. The pact reduces tariffs, opens up the services sector and establishes common trade rules within the bloc. The agreement covers trade, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunications and copyright. ASEAN has a similar free trade agreement with India, which is being phased in and is in the process of reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and India.
From 2016, import and export tariffs on more than 4,000 products will be abolished. This will have a similar effect to that of the China Free Trade Agreement, as it opens up the Indian consumer market to ASEAN industrial products. Indeed, India has a considerable middle-class consumer market of around 250 million, although it is not growing as fast in the short term as China. The ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement will also be extended to services, discussions are already at an advanced stage and a conclusion is expected before the end of the year. For more details on the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, click here. Australia hopes the trade deal will improve its relations with China, its largest trading partner. Unlike the EU, AFTA does not apply common external customs duties to imported goods. Any ASEAN member may, on the basis of its domestic calendars, impose tariffs on goods imported from outside ASEAN. However, for products originating in ASEAN, ASEAN members must apply a duty rate of 0-5% (the young members of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, also known as cmLVs, have been granted additional time to implement the reduced rates).
This is called the common effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT). The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)  is a trade bloc agreement concluded by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that supports local trade and production in all ASEAN countries and facilitates economic integration with regional and international allies.    Considered one of the most important and important free trade areas in the world, it has promoted, with its network of dialogue partners, some of the world`s largest multilateral forums and blocs, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the East Asia Summit and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.        ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is gaining importance as a trading bloc and is now the third largest in the world after the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. . . .