Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the founding partner of Dezan Shira Associates – a specialized foreign direct investment practice that provides multinational companies, business advice, business advice, tax and compliance consulting, accounting, payroll, diligence and financial investigation services for multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its inception in 1992, the company has grown into one of Asia`s most diverse full-service consulting firms, with operating subsidiaries in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States. You can stay abreast of the latest business and investment trends across Asia by subscribing to Asia Briefing`s free update service with news, comments, guides and multimedia resources. An international agreement entitled: Agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), signed on 27 February 2009 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, has created a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  A product made in Indonesia, such as Australian parts, could face tariffs elsewhere in the Asean Free Trade Area. The United States, the European Union and Japan continued to be ASEAN`s main export markets. Japan, followed by the United States and the EU, was ASEAN`s main source of imports. In the first half of 2002-03, ASEAN-6 trade with major markets increased by 11.71% for exports and 6.91% for imports. However, ASEAN exports to the United States and India, as well as imports from Canada and India, declined over the same period. [Figure 5] Although these ASEAN national customs and trade authorities coordinate with each other, disputes can arise. The ASEAN secretariat does not have the legal authority to resolve these disputes, so disputes are resolved bilaterally through informal means or dispute resolution. Although China already has a number of bilateral trade agreements, this is the first time it has signed a regional multilateral trade pact. The most important mechanism for achieving these objectives is the common system of effective preferential tariffs, which established a gradual timetable in 1992 to increase the region`s competitive advantage as a global market-oriented production base.
In the longer term, Li called the agreement a “victory for multilateralism and free trade.” ASEAN has attempted to improve customs coordination through the implementation of ASEAN`s “Single Windows” project. The ASEAN single window would allow importers to transmit all transaction information electronically. This information would then be shared with all other ASEAN national customs authorities. Chinese President Xi opens up to other trade and import agreements The CEPT applies only to products originating in ASEAN. The general rule is that the local content of ASEAN must be at least 40% of the FOB value of the treat. The local content of ASEAN can be cumulative, i.e. the value of contributions from different ASEAN members can be combined to meet the 40% requirement. The formula is as follows: ASEAN has concluded a number of free trade agreements with other Asian countries that are radically changing the global landscape of public procurement and production. It has, for example, a contract with China that has effectively reduced tariff reduction to nearly 8,000 product categories, or 90% of imported goods, to zero.