Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the East Asia Summit next month would discuss the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement between East Asian countries.
A World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December is looming as key to the shape of free trade in Asia in the 21st century as countries within the region intensify their interest in integrating their markets.
"The consequences of failure would be an even further switch to [bi-lateral] Free Trade Agreements [FTAs] and long-term weakness for multilateral trade. Trade would become more discriminatory," said Razeen Sally, visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
The Third World Network held a regional Asian workshop on bilateral and regional FTAs on 26-29 August in Kuala Lumpur. Many speakers and participants voiced concerns about how the developed countries are making use of such FTAs to get developing countries to accept issues.
The Asian Regional Workshop on Bilateral Free Trade Agreements was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 26-28 August 2005. It was organized by the Third World Network and attended by about 120 participants from many Asian countries.
Several Asian countries and Asean as a bloc are now pursuing trade and economic frameworks and agreements with non-Asean countries.
This IMF working paper of July 2005 describes the proliferation of PTAs in the Asia-Pacific region, discusses their
characteristics and implementation, and assesses their potential effects.
Estamos afrontando varios impactos negativos tanto de la OMC como de los TLC. Por ejemplo, Tailandia, conocida como el país con mayor exportación de arroz; sus campesinos están sufriendo muchísimo y están perdiendo la tierra así como las semillas locales.
We are facing severe negative impact of both WTO and FTA. For instance, Thailand known as the biggest rice exporting country but Thai peasant has been suffering in huge amount of debt and losing the land as well as the local seeds.
The enthusiasm for bilateral free trade agreements, or FTAs, and regional trade agreements, or RTAs, around Asia-Pacific reflects frustration over the slow pace of multilateral trade reform, once seen as the great hope for regional trade.
The upcoming Asian-African Summit will focus on establishing a new strategic partnership, and would not as yet move toward ideas of linking the two continents via a free trade agreement. "However, we have identified that (a FTA) is one form of cooperation that we can pursue in the long term," Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs secretary-general Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat said.
Singapore and Thailand have emerged as the two Asian countries with the highest number of completed free trade agreements (FTA), according to Asia News Network reports.
Beijing would like to see the emergence of an East Asian arrangement such as the European Union or the North America Free Trade Arrangement (NAFTA). Such an East Asian grouping would balance the world system, which is slowly being carved into blocs.
The United States must come to grips with the China juggernaut and assert its role as a stabilising force in the region, say analysts
From Tokyo to Mumbai, FTAs - free-trade agreements - seem to be every Asian politician’s favorite new phrase these days.
The trade-pact fever seems to be in full swing around the world, and Asia is in the thick of it.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi proposed concluding economic partnerships with East Asian countries as part of the nation’s future policy during his tour of Southeast Asian countries in January 2002.
The government has decided to expand the scope of its free trade agreement negotiations with several Asian countries, including South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, aiming to conclude comprehensive economic partnership agreements (EPAs), government officials said Wednesday.
Amid the delay in DDA [Doha Development Agenda] negotiations, in 2003 FTA movement by major nations, in particular was very brisk. As for newly concluded FTAs in 2003, Asia let the world with seven agreements, followed by America region with six. Meanwhile, FTAs were under negotiation in America (17), Asia (12), Europe (12) and Oceania (4).
With everyone but Mongolia and North Korea doing it, even South Korea’s protectionists could not resist any longer. After three failed attempts, the National Assembly finally ratified the country’s first-ever free-trade agreement (FTA) last week.