Update: China’s Free Trade Agreements

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Feb. 19 – Across the globe, there is an expanding network of free trade agreements (FTAs). A comprehensive, high-quality FTA helps eliminate tariffs and import quotas on most (if not all) goods and services traded among economies that have signed it.

Over the past years, China has been actively pursuing FTAs with various countries. So far, the country has 16 FTA partners comprising of 28 economies, among which 10 agreements have been signed already, they are:

  • China-ASEAN FTA
  • China-Pakistan FTA
  • China-New Zealand FTA
  • China-Singapore FTA
  • China-Chile FTA
  • China-Peru FTA
  • China-Costa Rica FTA
  • Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
  • Mainland and Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
  • Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement

FTAs under negotiation

  • China-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) FTA
  • China-Australia FTA
  • China-Iceland FTA
  • China-Norway FTA
  • China-SACU (Southern African Customs Union)
  • China-Korea FTA
  • China-Switzerland FTA
  • China-Japan-Korea FTA

The China-ASEAN FTA Area is the world’s largest free trade area in terms of population, and third largest in terms of nominal GDP. In 2011, the bilateral trade between the two regions amounted to US$362.9 billion, up 23.9 percent from a year earlier, and is further expected to reach US$500 billion by 2015.

Besides, the trilateral FTA negotiation among China, Japan, and Korea has been launched on November 20, 2012. Each of these three countries are vital global economies, with their combined GDP amounting to US$14 trillion in 2011, taking up nearly one fifth of the total global output. Therefore, when the trilateral FTA is finally implemented, its impact will assuredly extend far beyond the three countries involved.

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