Huge Asian free trade zone agreed on

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ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan says talks for a huge FTA are scheduled for early next year

Ten ASEAN nations and six regional partner countries have agreed to start talks on establishing a giant free trade area home to roughly half the world’s population and a combined GDP of $23 trillion, it was revealed at the ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which ended on Friday August 31.

Economic ministers of ASEAN and of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand signed an accord to hold first-round talks on the new free trade area early next year with the aim of concluding the negotiations by the end of 2015.

The pact will aim to eliminate trade barriers, create a liberal investment environment and protect intellectual property rights, according to the negotiation guidelines, in a market of 3.5 billion people.

Basically the talks revolve around how to group the current free trade agreements between ASEAN and the six partner countries. ASEAN already has five such separate free trade agreements governing economic cooperation.

“This idea of trying to string together all these agreements in existence into one, in principle now it’s been agreed,” ASEAN secretary general Surin Pitsuwan said on the final day of the summit.

The summit was also the stage for talks between ASEAN economic ministers and the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk. The two sides agreed to further deepen trade and investment ties and endorse a work plan for the ASEAN US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) for 2013.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan says talks for a huge FTA are scheduled for early next year

Ten ASEAN nations and six regional partner countries have agreed to start talks on establishing a giant free trade area home to roughly half the world’s population and a combined GDP of $23 trillion, it was revealed at the ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which ended on Friday August 31.

Reading Time: 1 minute

ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan says talks for a huge FTA are scheduled for early next year

Ten ASEAN nations and six regional partner countries have agreed to start talks on establishing a giant free trade area home to roughly half the world’s population and a combined GDP of $23 trillion, it was revealed at the ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which ended on Friday August 31.

Economic ministers of ASEAN and of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand signed an accord to hold first-round talks on the new free trade area early next year with the aim of concluding the negotiations by the end of 2015.

The pact will aim to eliminate trade barriers, create a liberal investment environment and protect intellectual property rights, according to the negotiation guidelines, in a market of 3.5 billion people.

Basically the talks revolve around how to group the current free trade agreements between ASEAN and the six partner countries. ASEAN already has five such separate free trade agreements governing economic cooperation.

“This idea of trying to string together all these agreements in existence into one, in principle now it’s been agreed,” ASEAN secretary general Surin Pitsuwan said on the final day of the summit.

The summit was also the stage for talks between ASEAN economic ministers and the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk. The two sides agreed to further deepen trade and investment ties and endorse a work plan for the ASEAN US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) for 2013.

 

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