„Ratification is likely to be difficult in national parliaments, both because of anti-commercial and anti-Chinese sentiment,“ he added. ASEAN, the association of Southeast Asian nations, is gaining importance as a trading bloc and is the third largest in the world after the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. It includes the Asian Tigers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (ASEAN 6) with smaller players such as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, with a total GDP of $2.31 trillion (2012) and hosts about 600 million people. The 2020 agreement is expected to boost the global economy by $186 billion.   These two agreements have the collective effects that make ASEAN the strategic hub for global markets 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. Chinese President Xi opens up to other trade and import agreements The ASEAN-Korea agreement was signed in 2006 and came into force in 2007. It defines the preferential trade regime for goods between ASEAN member countries and South Korea, allowing 90% of the products traded between ASEAN and South Korea to be processed duty-free. The agreement provides for a phasing-out and removal of tariffs for almost all products by each country. As part of the trade agreement, ASEAN-6, including Brunei Darussalam and Korea, eliminated more than 90% of tariffs by January 2010. In addition to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) between ASEAN countries, the regional trade bloc has signed several free trade agreements with some of the major economies in the Asia-Pacific region. These include the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP).
The aim of these free trade agreements is to encourage and encourage businesses of all sizes in ASEAN to trade without customs barriers, both regionally and internationally. Companies operating in ASEAN can take advantage of free trade agreements to facilitate access to new export markets for their low-cost products and benefit from simplified export and import procedures. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday reaffirmed his government`s support for „the expansion of a free and fair economic zone, including the possibility of India`s future return to the agreement, and hopes to win the support of other countries.“ Efforts to close the development gap and expand trade among ASEAN members are essential elements of the political debate.