Singapore Business Review | 23 August 2023
ASEAN signs upgrade for Australia, NZ free trade area deal
It will boost the essential goods supply chain, and prioritise trade and sustainability.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has signed the amendment to improve the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Agreement at the sidelines of the region’s economic ministers’ consultation with 12 dialogue partners.
In a statement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said the upgraded agreement “delivers forward-looking outcomes,” to cover strengthening of supply chain resilience for essential goods, simplified rules of origin and a standalone chapter on trade and sustainable development.
Aside from these, the amended AANZFTA also aims to enhance collaboration in the professional, education, telecommunications and financial services sectors and improve the ease of doing business for firms that are engaged in e-commerce.
The upgraded deal will also provide greater transparency and certainty for investors, better protection for businesses and consumers, and raise certainty in the regulator environment through a new Government Procurement chapter.
It will also facilitate cooperation, information sharing and capacity building to improve cooperation on sustainable development, and support enhancing of micro, small and medium enterprises’ capabilities.
The AANZFTA was implemented in 2010.