The new free trade bloc will be larger than the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada and the European Union. An Indonesian product containing, for example, Australian coins could expect tariffs elsewhere in the Asean Free Trade Area. The Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) will eliminate tariffs on a wide range of products for its Member States for nearly a decade and establish common rules on e-commerce, trade and intellectual property. “The economic benefits of the agreement may be marginal for Southeast Asia, but there are some interesting trade and customs dynamics for Southeast Asia,” said Nick Marro of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), formerly the Bangkok Agreement, is a preferential tariff regime that aims to promote intra-regional trade by exchanging concessions agreed by member states. Its current members are Bangladesh, China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Lao People`s Republic and Sri Lanka. Mongolia has concluded bilateral negotiations on tariff concessions and is expected to become the seventh member. Although China already has a number of bilateral trade agreements, this is the first time it has signed a regional multilateral trade pact. The fourth round, launched in October 2007, was to be closed by the Third Council of Ministers in October 2009. The objective of this round is to extend preference coverage to at least 50% of the number of customs positions of each member and to at least 20 to 25% of the value of bilateral trade. In addition, a customs concession of at least 50% (on average) will be introduced. The conclusion of a new Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) comprehensive free trade agreement between 15 countries in Asia and the Pacific has been welcomed around the world.
Its signatories are the ten members of the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan, Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand; India withdrew from the agreement at the last minute. The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) is a preferential regional trade agreement, formerly known as the Bangkok Agreement. The AptA aims to promote the economic development of its members by adopting mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures that contribute to regional trade expansion and economic cooperation. Over time, it has focused, from the first negotiations on tariff concessions in trade in goods, to the current negotiations on investment liberalization, trade in services and trade facilitation. It is also constantly working to improve and modernize its rules of origin for the trade in goods.