The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, more commonly known as ASEAN, is a political and economic organization of ten member-states in Southeast Asia. Since its establishment in 1967, ASEAN has made considerable progress in regional integration and cooperation, culminating in a series of agreements and partnerships that govern trade, investment, cultural exchange, and political relations among member-states.
One of the key achievements of ASEAN is the conclusion of several agreements that promote economic integration and cooperation among its member-states. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), signed in 1992, aims to eliminate tariff barriers to trade among ASEAN countries and promote the free flow of goods within the region. The AFTA-CEPT (Common Effective Preferential Tariff) Scheme, which was implemented in 1993, has reduced tariffs on most goods traded within the region to zero or near-zero levels.
Another significant agreement is the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which was signed in 2010 and aims to promote free trade and investment between ASEAN member-states and China. This agreement has led to increased economic cooperation and trade between ASEAN and China, which has become ASEAN`s largest trading partner.
Additionally, ASEAN has also signed several other agreements with its partners outside the region, including the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP). These agreements have helped to deepen economic ties and strengthen trade relations between ASEAN and its partners.
Apart from economic agreements, ASEAN has also signed several political and cultural agreements that promote regional cooperation and understanding. The ASEAN Declaration on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, for example, seeks to promote peace and stability in the region by calling for the peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for international law.
Overall, the agreements entered into by ASEAN member-states have been instrumental in promoting economic, political, and cultural integration within the region. These agreements have helped to create a more stable and prosperous ASEAN, and have strengthened the organization`s position as a key player on the world stage. As ASEAN continues to grow and evolve, these agreements will undoubtedly play an important role in shaping the organization`s future.