The ASEAN-Korea Goods Trade Agreement was signed in 2006 and came into force in 2007. It defines the preferential trade regime for goods between ASEAN member countries and South Korea, allowing 90% of the products traded between ASEAN and South Korea to be processed duty-free. The agreement provides for a phasing-out and removal of tariffs for almost all products by each country. As part of the trade agreement, ASEAN-6, including Brunei Darussalam and Korea, eliminated more than 90% of tariffs by January 2010. The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) came into force in December 2008. The agreement covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment and economic cooperation. The free trade agreement provides for the abolition of tariffs on 87% of all tariff lines and includes a dispute resolution mechanism. It also allows the return of goods between Member States, the billing of goods by third parties and the accumulation of ASEAN. BOTH ASEAN and Japan have launched several economic cooperation projects that include capacity building and technical assistance in areas of common interest.
These areas include intellectual property rights, trade-related procedures, information and communication technologies, human resource development, small and medium-sized enterprises, tourism and hospitality, transportation and logistics, among others. The AGREEMENT establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) came into force in January 2010. The Free Trade Agreement is the most comprehensive agreement covering a wide range of issues, including trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property, competition and economic cooperation. Since its inception, AANZFTA has encouraged trade in goods and services by removing barriers and reducing transaction costs for companies wishing to operate in Member States. Under the agreement, 99% of Australia-New Zealand merchandise trade with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam will be tariff-free by 2020. After full implementation in 2025, almost all trade between Member States will be tariff-free, which will help businesses save millions of tariffs each year. In addition to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) between ASEAN countries, the regional trade bloc has signed several free trade agreements with some of the major economies in the Asia-Pacific region. These include the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP).
The aim of these free trade agreements is to encourage and encourage businesses of all sizes in ASEAN to trade without customs barriers, both regionally and internationally. Companies operating in ASEAN can take advantage of free trade agreements to facilitate access to new export markets for their low-cost products and benefit from simplified export and import procedures. Over the past decade, trade and investment between ASEAN member states and China has increased significantly under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (ACFTA). The Convention on Trade in Goods was signed in 2004 and implemented by all Member States in July 2005.