The AANZFTA (ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area) is a free trade agreement between the ten member countries of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Australia, and New Zealand. It was signed in February 2009 and entered into force in January 2010.

The AANZFTA is a comprehensive agreement covering trade in goods, services, and investment. It aims to eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers between the member countries, and to promote trade and investment flows in the region. The agreement also includes provisions on intellectual property, e-commerce, and competition policy.

Under the AANZFTA, member countries have agreed to gradually reduce or eliminate tariffs on goods traded within the free trade area. The agreement also includes provisions to protect investors and ensure fair competition in the region. Additionally, the agreement promotes cooperation and capacity-building among the member countries to enhance their competitiveness and ability to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the free trade area.

Overall, the AANZFTA is seen as a positive step towards greater economic integration and cooperation between the member countries, and has the potential to boost trade and investment flows in the region.

The idea for the AANZFTA was first proposed by the leaders of the ASEAN countries, Australia, and New Zealand at the ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia in October 2003. The leaders agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a free trade area between the two regions, and negotiations for the agreement began in early 2005.

The negotiations were conducted by representatives from all of the participating countries, with each country’s government playing an important role in shaping the final agreement. The negotiations were concluded in August 2008, and the agreement was signed in February 2009.

So, while the idea was initially proposed by the leaders of the ASEAN countries, Australia, and New Zealand, the negotiations and the final agreement were the result of a collaborative effort between all of the participating countries.

At the time of the summit, the leaders of the ASEAN countries were:

  1. Brunei – His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah
  2. Cambodia – His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni
  3. Indonesia – President Megawati Sukarnoputri
  4. Laos – President Khamtai Siphandone
  5. Malaysia – Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
  6. Myanmar – Prime Minister Khin Nyunt
  7. Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
  8. Singapore – Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
  9. Thailand – Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
  10. Vietnam – President Tran Duc Luong

It’s worth noting that leadership positions in ASEAN countries can change over time, so this list reflects the leaders who were in power at the time the AANZFTA idea was proposed in 2003.

Also read : Indonesian Regulation on AANZFT

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