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China-ASEAN Free Trade Area Quarterly Report (Q1-1)

Post Time:2014-08-25 11:01:00

With a population of 600 million and a GNP of USD2 trillion, ASEAN consists of ten countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In November 2002, China and ASEAN signed the Framework Agreement on China-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, which marks the official beginning of building the China-ASEAN FTA. On January 1, 2010, the world’s largest free trade area formed by the developing countries – the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area – was formally established. The average tariff on goods between China and ASEAN countries was lowered to 0.1%, while that in China’s foreign trade was 9.8%; the average tariff of six old ASEAN member states (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei) to China was lowered to 0.6%, and that of four new member states (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar) to China is 5.6%. Over 90% of goods and nearly 7,000 kinds of merchandise can enjoy zero tariff treatment. According to the Agreement on Trade in Goods entered into by the two sides, China and the four new ASEAN member states will lower the tariff to zero in 2015, and the tariff on track-two products will be cancelled by January 1, 2018.

The establishment of the China-ASEAN FTA is a major step taken by both sides for open-up and cooperation. It has not only played a significant role in promoting the economic development of various countries and the regional economic and trade cooperation, but also cemented the friendly partnership between China and ASEAN. At present, China is the largest trade partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN is the third largest trade partner and an important investment source of China, and also the largest market for Chinese enterprises to make overseas investment.

1.1 Trade

In 2013, the China-ASEAN trade volume reached USD443.61 billion, up by 10.9% over the previous year. Among the three largest trade partners of China, ASEAN sees the fastest growth of trade with China (In 2013, the growth rate of China-EU trade was 2.1% and that of China-U.S. trade was 7.5%). In 2013, China’s exports to ASEAN increased by 19.5% and imports by 1.9%, Chinese side enjoys a trade surplus of USD44.53 billion.

In 2013, trade between China and ASEAN accounted for 10.66% of China’s overall trade with foreign countries, witnessing a slight increase over the previous year (10.35%).

In 2013, the top three ASEAN countries enjoying the largest volume of trade with China were Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; the top three countries boasting a fastest growth rate of trade with China were Laos (increased 58.6%), Myanmar (increased 45.6%) and Vietnam (increased 29.8%).

In 2013, the three largest importers of Chinese goods among the ASEAN member states were Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, while Laos (increased 83.6%), Vietnam (increased 42%) and Myanmar (increased 29%) saw the most rapid growth of China’s exports to their markets. The export volume of China increased across all the ten ASEAN countries.

In 2013, the three largest ASEAN exporters to China were Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, while Myanmar (increased 116.5%), Cambodia (increased 67.9%) and Laos (increased 29%) saw the most rapid growth of exports to China. The imports of China from Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, however, shrank to various degrees.

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