Two-way trade between ASEAN and Japan reached $239 billion in 2015, or 10.5% of ASEAN`s total trade. Meanwhile, Japan`s foreign direct investment (FDI) to ASEAN amounted to $17.4 billion, or 14.5% of ASEAN`s total FDI flows. Japan is ASEAN`s second largest trading partner and the source of direct investment for ASEAN. “The economic benefits of the agreement may be marginal for Southeast Asia, but there are some interesting trade and customs dynamics for Southeast Asia,” said Nick Marro of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The agreement excludes the United States, which withdrew from an Asia-Pacific trade pact in 2017. The AFTA agreement was signed in Singapore on 28 January 1992. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined the country in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. The AFTA now includes the ten ASEAN countries. The four laggards had to sign the AFTA agreement for ASEAN membership, but were given longer delays in complying with THE AFTA tariff reduction obligations. Chinese President Xi opens up to other trade and import agreements This new analysis proposes to examine two key areas, including port facilities and competitiveness in the internet services sector. According to the report, reforms in these areas could increase ASEAN trade by 7.5% ($22 billion) and 5.7% ($17 billion).
On the other hand, a reduction in tariffs on all ASEAN members on the South-East Asia regional average would increase intra-regional trade by about 2% ($6.3 billion).  ASEAN national authorities are also traditionally reluctant to share or cede sovereignty to the authorities of other ASEAN members (although ASEAN trade ministries regularly conduct cross-border visits to conduct on-site inspections as part of anti-dumping investigations). Unlike the EU or NAFTA, joint teams to ensure compliance and control of violations have not been widely used. Instead, ASEAN national authorities must rely on the verification and analysis of other ASEAN national authorities to determine whether AFTA`s measures, such as the rule of origin, are being complied with. Differences of opinion may arise between national authorities. Again, the ASEAN secretariat can help resolve a dispute, but it has no right to resolve it. Although China already has a number of bilateral trade agreements, this is the first time it has signed a regional multilateral trade pact. The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) is a comprehensive agreement comprising trade in goods and trade in services, investment trade, rules of origin (ROO), the health and plant health system (SPS), technical barriers (OTC), the dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) and economic cooperation.