Beijing Inks ASEAN Deal, 7,000 Products at Zero Tariffs
Aug. 18 – China and ASEAN have concluded talks on the establishing of a free trade zone next year, boosting economic integration with Southeast Asia and clearing the way for increased trade throughout the region.
Beijing’s agreement with ASEAN follows a similar agreement reached between India and ASEAN last week. The deal removes trade barriers on over 7,000 products in a joint market of close to 2 billion people. The impact is largely to be felt in the agricultural, textiles and electronics industries with cheap ASEAN fruit and vegetables coming to China, and cheap Chinese clothes and electronic products exported to ASEAN. ASEAN investment in China is currently running at a total of about US$52billion.
The deal is likely to have significant impact on the development of the Chinese cities of Kunming and Nanning, and also in Hanoi in North Vietnam as most of the trade will flow through these cities for dispersal across South-East Asia.
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