The review and improvement of the CEPT system was one of the main measures defined under the 2015 ACS to ensure the free movement of goods in the region. The CEPT system was then replaced in 2010 by the new agreement, the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)  is a trade bloc agreement concluded by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that supports local trade and production in all ASEAN countries and facilitates economic integration with regional and international allies.    Considered one of the most important and important free trade areas in the world, it has promoted, with its network of dialogue partners, some of the world`s largest multilateral forums and blocs, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the East Asia Summit and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.       In addition to the China-India Free Trade Agreement, ASEAN has also concluded a Combined Free Trade Agreement with Australia and New Zealand, known as AANZFTA. The agreement, which will also be phased in, has eliminated tariffs on 67% of all products traded between regions and will be extended to 96% of all products by 2020. This is the first time that ASEAN has begun negotiations for a free trade agreement covering all sectors, including goods, services, investment and intellectual property rights, making it the most comprehensive trade agreement ever negotiated by ASEAN. For more details on this agreement, click here. Introduction to tax treaties across Asia In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we see the different types of trade and tax treaties that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment agreements, double taxation treaties and free trade agreements that have a direct impact on companies operating in Asia.
Traditionally, ASEAN national authorities have also been reluctant to share or cede sovereignty to the authorities of other ASEAN members (although ASEAN trade ministries regularly conduct cross-border visits to carry out on-site inspections as part of anti-dumping investigations). Unlike the EU or NAFTA, joint enforcement and enforcement teams are not widespread. Instead, ASEAN national authorities must rely on the verification and analysis of other ASEAN national authorities to determine whether AFTA measures, such as the rule of origin, are being complied with. Discrepancies may arise between national authorities. Again, the ASEAN secretariat can help resolve a dispute, but does not have the legal authority to resolve it. These two agreements have the collective influence of making ASEAN a strategic centre for global sourcing and manufacturing. With the middle class of 150 million ASEAN consumers, this market, then associated with China and India, alone represents a global consumer market of the middle class, with a total free trade of about 650 million people – today. By 2030, given Asia`s growing prosperity and dynamism, about 64% of the global middle class will be based in Asia, representing 40% of the overall consumption of global small and medium-sized enterprises. The production trend is therefore to continue to develop products for this huge consumer market, but to place the necessary production capacities for this purpose in a cheaper place. The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement with China allows regional companies and NCMs operating in Asia to do so. .