Chinese President Xi opens up to more trade and import agreements The pact reduces tariffs, opens up the services sector and establishes common trade rules within the bloc. The agreement covers trade, services, investment, e-commerce, telecommunications and copyright. The agreement aims to reduce tariffs and bureaucracy. It contains uniform rules of origin throughout the bloc, which can facilitate international supply chains and trade within the region.   In addition, some tariffs are prohibited. It does not focus on trade unions, environmental protection or public subsidies.  “Ratification is likely to be difficult in national parliaments, both because of anti-commercial and anti-Chinese sentiment,” he added. An Introduction to Tax Treaties Across Asia In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we examine the different types of trade and tax agreements that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment agreements, bilateral double taxation agreements and free trade agreements that cover all companies directly active in Asia. The ASEAN-India trade agreement came into force on 1 January 2010. The signing of the agreement paved the way for the creation of one of the world`s largest free trade area markets and created opportunities for more than 1.9 billion people in ASEAN and India, with a total GDP of $4.8 trillion. AIFTA is setting up a more liberal and easier market access and investment system between Member States.
The agreement provides for tariff liberalization of more than 90% of the products traded between the two dynamic regions. As a result, tariffs for more than 4,000 product lines were agreed to be abolished by 2016 at the earliest. ASEAN leaders said they intend to continue expanding trade with India and that the door remains open in New Delhi to join the bloc. The RCEP is not as comprehensive as the comprehensive and progressive agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, another free trade agreement in the region that encompasses some of the same countries.  The RCEP “does not establish uniform employment and environmental standards or require countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies.”  RCEP members account for nearly one-third of the world`s population and account for nearly 30% of global GDP. The new free trade bloc will be larger than the agreement between the United States and Mexico and Canada and the European Union.  In 2007, the total GDP of potential RCEP members exceeded that of members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It has been suggested that sustained economic growth, particularly in China and Indonesia, could reach more than $100 trillion by 2050, about double the size of projects in the TPP economies.  On January 23, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that removed the United States from the TPP, a measure designed to improve the RCEP`s chances of success.  However, rules are in place for trade, which will facilitate investment and other businesses in the area, said Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Center. An international agreement entitled: Agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), signed on 27 February 2009 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, has created a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  Many Member States already have free trade agreements, but there are restrictions.
In the longer term, Li called the agreement a “victory for multilateralism and free trade.” Australia hopes the trade deal will improve relations with China, its largest trading partner. ASEAN has a similar free trade agreement with India, which is being phased in and is reducing tariffs to 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and India.