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ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand complete negotiation for FTA upgrade

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Vietnam+ | 22 February 2023

ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand complete negotiation for FTA upgrade

Jakarta (VNA) – The Joint Committee (FJC) for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) agreement has completed the negotiations for upgrading the plurilateral free trade deal at its recent 20th meeting in Indonesia.

Dina Kurniasari, Director General of ASEAN Negotiation under the Indonesian Ministry of Trade, said that compared to the current agreement, the upgraded version will make it easier for businesses to exploit the ASEAN, Australian and New Zealand markets. It is also designed to be more responsive, adaptive and flexible to emergencies such as future pandemics or natural disasters.

In a press release, the official said the Second Protocol to Amend the Agreement Establishing the AANZFTA could be one of Indonesia’s achievements in its role as Chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.

She stressed sides involved are committed to review legal procedures for the protocol to be signed in August on the sidelines of the 28th consultation of ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the Ministers of Australia and New Zealand.

The Agreement Establishing the AANZFTA was inked in Thailand on February 27, 2009.

In 2021, total merchandise trade between ASEAN and Australia reached 81.6 billion USD, up 49% year-on-year and higher than pre-COVID-19 rates.

Meanwhile, trade between the bloc and New Zealand hit 11 billion USD, growing by 22.5% annually. Also last year, FDI from Australia and New Zealand to ASEAN amounted to 589 million USD.

 Fuente: Vietnam+