China-ASEAN FTA Launched
On January 1, 2010, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) created the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.
Tariffs of about 90 percent on commodities traded between China and six ASEAN members—Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—were reduced to nearly zero, marking the initial establishment of the free trade area.
The China-ASEAN FTA covers a population of 1.9 billion people and handles a $4.5-trillion trade volume. It is the world's largest FTA for developing countries, the third largest FTA after the North American Free Trade Area and the European Union.
China's average tariff on ASEAN goods decreased from 9.8 percent in 2009 to 0.1 percent, while the six ASEAN members' average tariff on Chinese goods has shrunk from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent.
By 2015, a zero percent tariff rate for 90 percent of traded goods is expected to extend between China and four other ASEAN members, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam.
Boosted by the FTA, China-ASEAN trade topped $263 billion in the first 11 months of this year, an increase of 40.6 percent from a year ago, say figures from the Ministry of Commerce.