Regional trade agreements in Asia: an overview
Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have proliferated in Asia in recent years. To enhance further RTA economic, political and welfare benefits, world leaders at the First East Asia Summit on 14 December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, started discussions on further enlargement of the existing ASEAN (Association of the South East Asian Nations) free trade area or agreement (AFTA, established in January 1993) to include the world's major trading blocs, and its regional and global implications (ASEAN, 2006). A number of factors have contributed to this significant development.
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