WTO Accession, Foreign Direct Investment and International Trade
Edited by Chunlai Chen
Chapter 10: The Impact of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area on China’s Economy and Regional Agricultural Development
Jun Yang, Huanguang Qiu and Chunlai Chen INTRODUCTION China is very active in both multilateral and bilateral trade liberalization. Many studies have demonstrated that a free trade area can improve members’ production efficiency, stimulate foreign investment, accelerate domestic reforms and promote economic growth (Fukase and Winters, 2003; Yang, Zhang and Huang, 2005). Because of the slow progress in multilateral trade negotiations, especially the Doha Round, China, like other countries, has actively engaged in negotiating and establishing bilateral free trade areas. By the end of 2006, China has signed free trade agreements with Hong Kong, Macao, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chile and Pakistan. Negotiations with New Zealand, Australia, the Gulf Cooperation Council and southern countries of Africa are in progress, and four free trade areas are at the feasibility study stage. The ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) is a milestone in the cooperation between China and ASEAN. The Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, signed in November 2002, provided for the establishment of an ACFTA for goods trade by 2010 for the older ASEAN members, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and by 2015 for the newer ASEAN member states, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. The Early Harvest Program (EHP), implemented on 1 January 2004, specifies that China and all older member countries of ASEAN should phase out mutual import tariffs on almost all agricultural goods; newer ASEAN members have until 2015 to eliminate tariffs on these commodities. The enforcement of the Agreement on Trade...
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