The ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand Summit on 30 November 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, agreed to establish the ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).
The AANZFTA is a comprehensive and single-undertaking economic agreement that opens up and creates new opportunities for the 600 million peoples of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand which has a combined economic output of USD 2.65 trillion via a platform of a more liberal, facilitative and transparent market access and investment regimes among the signatories to the Agreement. Through the AANZFTA:
· tariffs will be progressively reduced from entry into force of the Agreement, and eliminated for at least 90 percent of all tariff lines within specified timelines;
· movement of goods will be facilitated via a more modern and flexible rules of origin, simplified customs procedures and more transparent mechanisms;
· barriers to trade in services will be progressively liberalized allowing for greater market access to service suppliers in the region;
· movement of business persons, those engaged in trade and investment activities, will be facilitated; and
· covered investments will be accorded a range of protection, including the possibility of dealing with disputes via an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
Economic Ministers of ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand signed the AANZFTA Agreement on 27 February 2009 in Thailand. It is ASEAN's first comprehensive FTA negotiations with Dialogue Partners covering all sectors:
· trade in goods;
· trade in services;
· financial services;
· electronic commerce;
· movement of natural persons;
· intellectual property;
· competition policy; and
· economic cooperation.
The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Agreement has been implemented by Malaysia on 1 January 2010.
For further information on the Agreement, please visit the following link: http://aanzfta.asean.org