The free trade agreement reduced tariffs to 7,881 product categories, or 90% of imported products at zero. [15] This reduction came into effect in China and in the original six ASEAN members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The other four countries are expected to follow in 2015. [16] 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] Indonesia is currently negotiating trade agreements with Australia, Chile, EFTA (European Free Trade Area), the European Union, Korea, India and Ukraine. It has also expressed interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and creating a free trade area with the Eurasian Economic Union. Since 2012, Jakarta has been part of the controversial discussions on the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) with the nine other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) governments and their six free trade partners, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. The framework agreement was signed by eleven heads of government on 4 November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. [4]: Hassanal Bolkiah (Sultan of Brunei Darussalam), Hun Sen (Prime Minister of Cambodia), Megawati Soekarnoputri (President of Indonesia), Bounnhang Vorachith (Prime Minister of Laos), Mahathir bin Mohamad (Prime Minister Minister of Malaysia), Than Sh (Prime Minister of Burma), Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President of the Philippines), Goh Chok Tong (Prime Minister of Singapore), Thaksin Shinawatra (Prime Minister of Thailand), Phan Ven Khi (Prime Minister of Vietnam) , Zhu Rongji (Prime Minister of the State Council of the People`s Republic of China). [4] [5] After the first six signatories reached their target by 2010, the CLMV countries (Cambodia, PDR Laonais, Myanmar, Vietnam) adopted 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] Changes to the free trade area framework mainly concerned Vietnam. These amendments were intended to help Vietnam reduce tariffs and were cited as guidelines. [14] The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is a free trade area between the ten member states of the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People`s Republic of China. Indonesia signed a comprehensive free trade agreement with Japan in 2007. In February 2012, it signed a preferential trade agreement with Pakistan, which both governments intend to transform into a free trade agreement. But the Pakistani government reportedly refused to start new negotiations until concerns about the existing agreement were lifted. On 1 January 2010, the average tariff rate on Chinese products sold in ASEAN countries increased from 12.8% to 0.6% until the remaining ASEAN members implemented the free trade area. Meanwhile, the average tariff rate on ASEAN products sold in China increased from 9.8% to 0.1%.

[13] Up to 2015, ASEAN`s total merchandise trade with China reached $346.5 billion (15.2% of ASEAN trade), and ACFTA accelerated growth in Chinese direct investment and trade cooperation. [6] China first proposed the idea of a free trade area in November 2000.