Analysts noted that in the face of ongoing trade tensions, Hong Kong companies are eager to expand investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, and Vietnam in particular. At the end of 2019, Hong Kong was the second largest investor in Vietnam. Hong Kong companies have invested more than 1,300 projects in Vietnam in key sectors such as textile and apparel, real estate and investment. Many expect these numbers to improve after the AHKFTA. Negotiations began in 2005 and were significantly accelerated after Chinese President Xi paid a state visit to Australia in November 2014. The agreement was signed on 17 June 2015. The agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) entered into force in January 2010. The Free Trade Agreement is the most comprehensive agreement covering a wide range of issues, including trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property, competition and economic cooperation. Since its inception, AANZFTA has promoted trade in goods and services by removing barriers and reducing transaction costs for companies wishing to do business in member countries.
By 2020, 99% of goods trade between Australia and New Zealand with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam will be duty-free. When fully implemented in 2025, almost all trade between member countries will be duty-free, helping businesses save millions of dollars in tariffs each year. After the initial 6 signatories reached their target by 2010, the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao People`s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Vietnam) pursued the same customs policy with the same objective of achieving it by 2015.  In 2010, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area became the largest free trade area in terms of population and the third largest in terms of nominal GDP. It was also the third largest volume of trade after the European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Area.   The Protocol amending the ASEAN-China Agreement on Trade in Services for the 2nd Package of Commitments was signed on 16 November 2011. The Protocol enters into force on 1 January 2012. The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) entered into force in December 2008. The agreement covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment and economic cooperation.
The free trade agreement provides for the reduction of tariffs on 87% of all tariff items and includes a dispute settlement mechanism. It also allows for the consecutive shipment of goods between member countries, the invoicing of goods by third parties and the cumulation of ASEAN. ASEAN and Japan have also launched several economic cooperation projects that include capacity-building and technical assistance in areas of mutual interest. These areas include intellectual property rights, trade-related procedures, information and communication technologies, human resources development, small and medium-sized enterprises, tourism and hospitality, transport and logistics. ASEAN members have a combined population of over 650 million. Indonesia accounts for more than 40 percent of the region`s population and its population has expressed the greatest opposition to the deal.   Under the FTA, about 99.7% of Chinese exports to Switzerland will be duty-free and the duty-free percentage of Swiss exports to China will be 84.2%. With regard to trade in goods, at least 90 per cent of goods on both sides will gradually not benefit from duty-free access to each other`s markets. With regard to trade in services, Costa Rica will continue to open 45 sectors to China, including telecommunications, education and tourism, while China will open seven service sectors in Costa Rica. Despite official propaganda, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 2010, will benefit China, but risks putting ASEAN countries at a disadvantage.
The agreement covers four main areas: reducing tariffs on traded goods, reducing restrictions on trade in services, longer stays for business travellers and better investment protection. In terms of reducing trade, most ASEAN countries will abolish or reduce tariffs on goods from Hong Kong. The Free Trade Agreement between China and Costa Rica entered into force on 1 August 2011. Negotiations on a free trade agreement began in January 2009 following then-Chinese President Hu Jintao`s visit to the Central American country in November 2008. After more than a year of intensive negotiations, the two sides signed the free trade agreement in April 2010. The TIG Agreement, signed on 29 November 2004, is one of the authorisation agreements under the Framework Agreement. It laid down the detailed rules for the reduction and elimination of tariffs for tariff links, either for the standard route or for the sensitive route. Vietnam has adopted Decree No.
07/2020/ND-CP on Special Preferential Import Duties for the Implementation of the ASEAN-Hong Kong China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA). The decree entered into force on 20 February. On April 28, 2009, the chinese and Peruvian governments signed the China-Peru Free Trade Agreement in Beijing. The China-Peru Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 15, 2010, is the first comprehensive free trade agreement that China has signed with a Latin American country. The implementation of AHKFTA will enable Vietnam to further improve its network of competitive trade agreements. It will continue to help the economy move up the value chain, moving from exporting low-tech manufacturing products to exporting high-tech goods such as electronics, machinery, vehicles and medical devices. In addition to an increase in traded goods, the Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Agreement (AI) will encourage the services sector in ASEAN countries to use Hong Kong`s professional, financial, commercial and legal services. The region will also benefit from increased investment flows, particularly in the real estate, manufacturing and services sectors. On April 7, 2008, then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark witnessed the signing of the Sino-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Beijing, which entered into force on October 1, 2008. The agreement is the first comprehensive free trade agreement that China has ever signed, as well as the first free trade agreement that China has signed with an industrialized country. In addition to the Agreement on Trade in Goods, ASEAN and China also signed the Agreement on Trade in Services (ACTISA) on 14 January 2007 for the 1st package of specific commitments and on 16 November 2011 for the 2nd package of specific commitments. Both packages provide for the expansion of trade in services with better market access and national treatment in sectors/subsectors where commitments have been made.
The agreement excludes the liberalisation of public procurement services and public services. Since 2012, China has been Peru`s most important trading partner and the main destination for total Peruvian exports. In 2014, China also became the leading supplier of capital goods and the largest investor with US$18 billion. The China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) officially entered into force in July 2007. The two countries signed the agreement on 24 November 2006. Negotiations began in April 2005 during the visit of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Pakistan. Trade between China and South Korea rose from $6.4 billion in 1992, when the two countries established diplomatic relations, to $235.4 billion in 2014. China has been South Korea`s No. 1 trading partner since 2004.La South Korea is China`s fourth largest trading partner since the ACFTA came into effect, with China`s share of ASEAN`s total merchandise trade increasing from eight percent in 2004 to 21 percent in 2018. With its large combined population and high growth potential, the ASEAN region continues to offer many opportunities for businesses.
The China-ASEAN FTA (DCFTA) is the first free trade agreement in China`s foreign negotiations and the largest free trade area. DCFTA has vigorously promoted the stable and rapid development of bilateral trade and economic relations over the long term. With better access to Hong Kong`s trade network, its proximity to mainland China and China`s Belt and Road Initiative, foreign and domestic companies should prepare to take full advantage of the free trade agreement. However, expectations of mutual benefit evaporated after a few months, with most Thai comments admitting that Thailand had struck a bad deal. An assessment states: “Despite the limited scope of the Thailand-China early harvest agreement, it has had a significant impact on the sectors covered. The “tangible impact” has been to wipe out garlic and red onion producers in northern Thailand and cripple the sale of tempered fruits and vegetables from royal projects. Thai newspapers pointed the finger at officials in southern China who refused to reduce tariffs as stated in the agreement, while the Thai government dismantled barriers to Chinese goods. .