These two agreements have a collective impact by making ASEAN the strategic hub of global sourcing and manufacturing. With a base of 150 million consumers of the middle class aSEAN, this market, which was then coupled with the 250 million from China and India, represents a middle-class consumer market, with a total free trade of about 650 million people – today. By 2030, in the face of Asia`s growing prosperity and growing dynamism, about 64% of the world`s middle class will be established in Asia, representing 40% of the total global consumption of the middle class. ASEAN has concluded a number of free trade agreements with other Asian countries that are radically changing the global public procurement and production landscape. It has, for example, a contract with China that has effectively reduced tariff reduction to nearly 8,000 product categories, or 90% of imported goods, to zero. These favourable conditions came into force in China and in ASEAN members, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. During the same period, ASEAN officials signed five major free trade agreements with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Such measures have helped to reduce tariffs, streamline rules and, in general, simplify export and import procedures. As a result, these economic integration initiatives offer considerable opportunities for ASEAN-based businesses. Summary: There is little doubt that trade liberalization has had a profound impact on the well-being of women in Southeast Asia. However, not all of these effects are negative.
Indeed, the opening up of the region`s economies, both nationally and regionally, has… In addition to trade negotiations with the various ASEAN Member States, the EU works closely with the entire ASEAN region. Cooperation between the two regions is marked by a semi-annual ASEAN-EU trade and investment programme, which is part of the following activities: the ASEAN bloc has largely abolished all import and export taxes on goods traded between them, with the exception of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which continue to impose nominal tariffs on certain items. But these will also be fully lifted on 31 December 2015, so that the entire region will be duty-free from that date. The manufacturing trend is therefore to continue to develop products for this huge consumer market, but to place the production capacity needed for this purpose on a cheaper site. The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement with China allows regional companies and MNN in Asia to do so. This is a trend that is already underway – as we are seeing with Foxconn, the manufacturer of many components that end up in Apple products, who want to relocate their 1.3 million workers from China and Indonesia, where wages are lower and where there is a large and available workforce. This is a solid strategy that is increasingly being adopted by many manufacturers. Other ASEAN agreements are being negotiated, including with Japan, which already has a number of important economic partnerships, while South Korea already has a free trade agreement. Both resemble the above – the reduction of more than 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and these countries.