This paper highlights ASEAN–s commitment to keeping its current standing as a vibrant and viable business centre in Asia though the ASEAN FTA strategy. This two-pronged strategy entails: (a) the acceleration of ASEAN–s economic integration and (b) the forging of free trade areas with dialogue partners. Whilst the objective of the former is to maintain an open, outward-oriented and integrated economy, the latter intends to complement ASEAN–s internal integration process and secure ASEAN–s linkages with its economic partners. The overall goal is to realise the ASEAN Economic Community, which is a business environment that is predictable and in tune with the needs of the private sector.
Keywords: ASEAN; China; Free Trade Areas; Foreign Direct Investments; Industrial Cooperation; Rules of Origin; Trade in Goods; Trade in Services
*Senior Officer at the Investment and Enterprise Unit of the Bureau for Economic Integration of the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia