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China-Asean pact a boost for intra-Asia trades

Beijing: A comprehensive trade pact between China and major Southeast Asian economies that came into effect last Friday is expected to accelerate bilateral commerce. Trade volume in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) "will jump," and the yearly rate of growth will be "40 to 50 percent or more for a certain period of time," a Thai embassy official said during a press conference held by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in Beijing last week.
The China-ASEAN FTA is the largest of its kind, covering a population of 1.9 billion. It encompasses a region with the a GDP worth $2 trillion annually.
Under the FTA framework, China and six ASEAN nations - Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore - will cut to zero the tariff on 90 percent of imported goods, or 7,000 product categories.
The other four ASEAN members will follow suit from 2015.  [04/01/10]


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