While China already has a number of bilateral trade agreements, this is the first time it has signed a regional multilateral trade pact. In the longer term, Li called the agreement a “victory for multilateralism and free trade.” Last year, the total volume of trade between China and ASEAN countries reached a record high of $587.87 billion, an increase of 14.1 percent over the previous year, surpassing the United States for the first time since 1997. For ASEAN, 2018 was also the ninth consecutive year that China has been ASEAN`s largest trading partner, in part due to China`s geographical proximity and the multilateral trading partnership that began in 2004. After the first six signatories reached their target by 2010, the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam) adopted the same customs policy with the same objective to be achieved by 2015.  In 2010, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area became the People`s Free Trade Area and the third largest free trade area in terms of nominal GDP. It was also the third largest volume of trade after the European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Area.   Australia hopes the trade deal will improve its relations with China, its largest trading partner. ASEAN members have a total population of over 650 million. Indonesia accounts for more than 40 per cent of the region`s population and the population has been the most opposed to the agreement.   One of the main features of the TIG Agreement is the non-maintenance of quantitative restrictions and the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade.  Removing these trade barriers will reduce trade costs, further increase trade between ASEAN and China, and improve economic efficiency. Since low-priced imports under the free trade agreement go from member to member, there is specialization in production, which increases real income in both ASEAN and China, as resources go to sectors where they can be used more efficiently and productively. As more countries appear to be opting for increasing protectionism, the Southeast Asian region and China are actively forging stronger trade and investment relations at the regional and global levels.
The agreement covers trade, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunications and copyright. President xi opens up to more trade and import agreements Starting in August 2019, the updated protocol will amend the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) by simplifying rules of origin, customs procedures, trade facilitation measures and investment rules. In addition, a new section on customs procedures and trade facilitation has been added, which explains the operational certification procedures for the application and obtaining of preferential duties. The `Form E` established by the Protocol verifies the suitability of export products for preferential treatment. In August 2019, changes to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement came into force, simplifying rules governing trade in goods, services and investment in the ASEAN-China Economic Zone, which has a population of more than 1.8 billion. . . .