Asean-People`s Republic of China Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

By 03/02/2023No Comments

The ASEAN-China Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (ACFTA) is a free trade agreement between the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People`s Republic of China. The agreement came into effect in 2010 and was signed with the aim of creating a free trade area among the member states, leading to greater economic cooperation, investment, and regional stability.

The ACFTA is one of the largest free trade agreements in the world, covering a total population of approximately 1.9 billion people and accounting for 31% of the world`s gross domestic product (GDP). The agreement eliminated tariffs on over 90% of goods traded between the member states, and has been praised for promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the region.

The agreement has also strengthened political and diplomatic ties between ASEAN and China. It has created a platform for negotiations on matters of common concern, including economic development, trade, investment, and regional integration. The ACFTA is not just about trade; it`s about building a relationship of mutual respect and understanding between ASEAN and China.

The ACFTA has had a positive impact on the economies of the member states. Trade between ASEAN and China has increased significantly, with bilateral trade reaching over US$600 billion in 2019, making China ASEAN`s largest trading partner. The agreement has also benefited Chinese businesses, allowing them to expand their reach and gain access to new markets in Southeast Asia.

Despite the benefits of the ACFTA, there have been some concerns regarding its implementation. Some critics argue that Chinese goods are flooding the ASEAN market, leading to a trade imbalance that favors China. Others argue that the agreement has led to a loss of local jobs, as Chinese companies move in and offer lower wages to local workers.

To address these concerns, the ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee has been established to oversee the implementation of the agreement. The committee aims to ensure that the ACFTA benefits all member states, especially the less developed ones, and to monitor the impact of the agreement on the region as a whole.

In conclusion, the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is a landmark agreement that has had a positive impact on the economies of the member states. It has created opportunities for trade, investment, and regional cooperation, and has strengthened the relationship between ASEAN and China. While there remain some concerns about its implementation, the ACFTA provides a solid foundation for future economic growth and development in the region.