ASEAN seeks to boost intra-bloc trade

Enhancing intra-ASEAN trade and investment towards a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is one of the shared topics by many regional officials, researchers and policymakers.


With a population of 600 million, ASEAN is one of the most dynamic regions in the world and the fifth largest economy. However, in the context of rising protectionism and globalisation, the most influential factor to ASEAN trade is tariff barriers.

When tariffs on almost all goods and services are reduced to almost zero, it will help increase the affiliation between the ASEAN economies.

Another challenge facing ASEAN trade is the completion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with a number of unresolved issues with India. If the agreement is reached, it will become the world’s largest free trade area with about 3.5 billion consumers, accounting for 39% of global GDP.

In order to promote intra-regional trade cooperation, ASEAN member countries also need to consider the regional and global trade challenges, the complementarity between the member economies to tap potential areas of each country./.