of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has decided on having a free trade pact with
Japan. Though Japan is a key ASEAN partner, accounting for 12 per cent of the
bloc''s world trade in 2006, it does not have a free trade pact with the South
East Asian trading blocc.
two signed a preliminary agreement during an annual meeting between ASEAN and
Japan in Manila that could lead to a pact being formalised in November.
the deal, Akira Amari, Japan''s trade minister, said that the two sides had agreed
to finalise their lists for regional exchange of concessions for trade in goods
and said that the deal would be a step towards furthering economic integration
in the East Asian region.
the deal materialises, 90 per cent of tariffs on ASEAN products could be cut and
boost the 2006 trade volumes from $160 billion.
ASEAN is keen to convert the entire region in to a free trade zone. On Friday,
24 August, ASEAN members signed a free-trade blueprint for the area to be advanced
by five years to 2015 or even earlier if possible.
free trade deal with South Korea is expected in 2008, and the ASEAn could sign
further deals with Australia and New Zealand in 2010.