Sat, 02 Jan 2010
China and the 10-country Association of South East Asian Nations on Friday launched the final stage of the world’s biggest regional trade agreement, measured by population, in spite of Indonesia’s last-minute attempts at renegotiation.

The launch of the China-Asean Free Trade Agreement, which covers almost 1.9bn people, coincides with the implementation of a similar deal with Australia and New Zealand and a deepening of Asean’s own internal trading agreements.
EDITOR’S CHOICE
Asean offers US meeting with Burma leader - Nov-13
Asia urges Obama to refocus on free trade - Nov-13
Asian leaders look to bolster regional ties - Oct-25
East Asia warned on currency threat - Oct-25
Human rights rifts mar Asean summit - Oct-23

Taken together with earlier deals with Japan, South Korea and India, the New Year day accord puts south-east Asia at the centre of a series of regional trade agreements extending from Beijing to Wellington and from New Delhi to Tokyo.

The China-Asean deal takes effect following the completion last summer of an agreement on investment rules, the last leg of an eight-year negotiating marathon that produced earlier agreements on goods and services.

Tariffs have been falling since 2005, with 90 per cent of goods due to be tariff free from Friday for China and the six core Asean members Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. The target is 2015 for the other four Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam.

However, the deal remains short of genuine free trade. The trade in goods agreement provides for each country to register hundreds of sensitive goods on which tariffs will continue to apply, in many cases until at least 2020.

Sensitive products include various types of electronic equipment, motor vehicles and automotive parts and chemicals, as well as items such as popcorn, snowboarding equipment and toilet paper.

The deal creates the third largest regional trading agreement by value after the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement, covering countries with mutual trade flows of $231bn in 2008 and combined gross domestic product of about $6,000bn, according to China’s ministry of commerce.

Jayant Menon, principal economist in the Asian Development Bank’s office of regional economic integration, said it could eventually lead to a wider trade agreement involving Asean, China, Japan, South Korea and the US an idea floated in November by Yukio Hatoyama, the Japanese prime minister. “There is a lot of expectation of this FTA,” said Mr Menon.

Surin Pitsuwan, Asean’s secretary-general, said the agreement would allow the Asean countries to benefit more from the growth of China, which is already south-east Asia’s third largest trading partner, with about 11 per cent of total two-way trade. “When China grows, Asean has to ensure that we are on the supply line towards that growth,” he said.

Asean, which has a population of 580m and a combined economy bigger than that of India, has substantial reserves of resources such as oil, natural gas, coal and other commodities that China desperately needs to keep its factories operating.

China, which runs a substantial trade surplus with Asean, stands to benefit hugely from easier access to the bloc as it seeks new Asian markets for goods that can no longer be sold to consumers in Europe and North America.

“China and the Asean countries have many products that complement each other,” Zhang Kening, a director at the ministry of commerce, said earlier this week. “We can see great potential to adjust our trade patterns by importing more from Asean countries.”

The deal remains deeply controversial within the region, where suspicion of China’s economic clout and political ambitions vies with the desire to take advantage of the export potential of its fast-growing economy.

Indonesia has led opposition to the pact, seeking to delay its implementation because of fears that sectors from steel and petrochemicals to cosmetics and herbal medicines would face overwhelming competition from cheap Chinese imports.

Jakarta has announced a review of the impact of the deal, but drew back from tougher action after the industry minister told parliament his attempts to renegotiate elements of the deal with the other 10 countries had failed.

The co-ordinating minister for the economy warned on Wednesday that there could still be clashes between Jakarta and Beijing. “When a nation has cheap products, we must see whether there’s unfair trade in it, such as unfair subsidies,” he said. “We must be proactive.”



News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
24 May 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
3,860.83
3,860.83
AFN1
197.92
197.92
ALL1
130.76
130.76
AMD1
29.40
29.40
ANG1
7,897.24
7,897.24
AOA1
60.76
60.76
ARS1
579.47
579.47
AUD1
10,729.17
10,729.17
AWG1
7,924.67
7,924.67
AZN1
8,329.64
8,329.64
BAM1
8,490.05
8,490.05
BBD1
7,090.61
7,090.61
BDT1
167.56
167.56
BGN1
8,494.32
8,494.32
BHD1
37,561.58
37,561.58
BIF1
7.92
7.92
BMD1
14,181.22
14,181.22
BND1
10,539.00
10,539.00
BOB1
2,051.47
2,051.47
BRL1
3,909.81
3,909.81
BSD1
14,181.22
14,181.22
BTC1
104,964,426
104,964,426
BTN1
208.43
208.43
BWP1
1,421.05
1,421.05
BYN1
7,085.83
7,085.83
BZD1
7,052.60
7,052.60
CAD1
11,046.37
11,046.37
CDF1
8.77
8.77
CHF1
14,262.52
14,262.52
CLF1
622,803.08
622,803.08
CLP1
22.76
22.76
CNH1
2,224.80
2,224.80
CNY1
2,219.77
2,219.77
COP1
5.03
5.03
CRC1
25.08
25.08
CUC1
14,181.22
14,181.22
CUP1
556.12
556.12
CVE1
151.13
151.13
CZK1
644.61
644.61
DJF1
79.69
79.69
DKK1
2,229.06
2,229.06
DOP1
286.75
286.75
DZD1
121.77
121.77
EGP1
791.69
791.69
ERN1
939.32
939.32
ETB1
515.68
515.68
EUR1
16,605.35
16,605.35
FJD1
6,822.51
6,822.51
FKP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
GBP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
GEL1
5,796.68
5,796.68
GGP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
GHS1
3,046.45
3,046.45
GIP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
GMD1
300.67
300.67
GNF1
1.57
1.57
GTQ1
1,901.48
1,901.48
GYD1
68.53
68.53
HKD1
1,806.99
1,806.99
HNL1
594.37
594.37
HRK1
2,245.92
2,245.92
HTG1
220.10
220.10
HUF1
52.13
52.13
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
3,969.44
3,969.44
IMP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
INR1
207.57
207.57
IQD1
11.93
11.93
IRR1
0.33
0.33
ISK1
134.08
134.08
JEP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
JMD1
112.39
112.39
JOD1
19,987.54
19,987.54
JPY1
129.06
129.06
KES1
140.51
140.51
KGS1
207.47
207.47
KHR1
3.48
3.48
KMF1
33.71
33.71
KPW1
15.75
15.75
KRW1
13.18
13.18
KWD1
46,975.59
46,975.59
KYD1
17,010.35
17,010.35
KZT1
43.45
43.45
LAK1
1.69
1.69
LBP1
9.28
9.28
LKR1
89.83
89.83
LRD1
103.44
103.44
LSL1
1,128.18
1,128.18
LYD1
10,427.37
10,427.37
MAD1
1,496.22
1,496.22
MDL1
844.98
844.98
MGA1
4.35
4.35
MKD1
269.73
269.73
MMK1
10.45
10.45
MNT1
5.90
5.90
MOP1
1,753.35
1,753.35
MRO1
39.83
39.83
MRU1
396.89
396.89
MUR1
411.13
411.13
MVR1
914.91
914.91
MWK1
19.69
19.69
MXN1
722.01
722.01
MYR1
3,564.46
3,564.46
MZN1
234.02
234.02
NAD1
1,119.71
1,119.71
NGN1
39.33
39.33
NIO1
451.91
451.91
NOK1
1,754.85
1,754.85
NPR1
130.28
130.28
NZD1
9,820.49
9,820.49
OMR1
36,848.71
36,848.71
PAB1
14,181.22
14,181.22
PEN1
4,332.24
4,332.24
PGK1
4,342.27
4,342.27
PHP1
270.04
270.04
PKR1
122.67
122.67
PLN1
3,859.93
3,859.93
PYG1
2.51
2.51
QAR1
3,894.35
3,894.35
RON1
3,589.26
3,589.26
RSD1
140.60
140.60
RUB1
231.26
231.26
RWF1
16.48
16.48
SAR1
3,781.60
3,781.60
SBD1
1,807.82
1,807.82
SCR1
1,027.71
1,027.71
SDG1
787.84
787.84
SEK1
1,620.92
1,620.92
SGD1
10,561.51
10,561.51
SHP1
18,958.88
18,958.88
SLL1
1.81
1.81
SOS1
24.79
24.79
SRD1
1,898.93
1,898.93
SSP1
108.86
108.86
STD1
0.68
0.68
STN1
679.17
679.17
SVC1
1,620.07
1,620.07
SYP1
27.53
27.53
SZL1
1,126.38
1,126.38
THB1
442.08
442.08
TJS1
1,577.72
1,577.72
TMT1
4,051.79
4,051.79
TND1
5,584.72
5,584.72
TOP1
6,179.78
6,179.78
TRY1
3,098.80
3,098.80
TTD1
2,103.21
2,103.21
TWD1
473.82
473.82
TZS1
6.21
6.21
UAH1
543.47
543.47
UGX1
3.79
3.79
USD1
14,181.22
14,181.22
UYU1
453.40
453.40
UZS1
1.76
1.76
VEF1
0.17
0.17
VND1
0.62
0.62
VUV1
132.56
132.56
WST1
5,512.86
5,512.86
XAF1
25.31
25.31
XAG1
233,635.15
233,635.15
XAU1
18,366,133.36
18,366,133.36
XCD1
5,247.35
5,247.35
XDR1
20,109.16
20,109.16
XOF1
25.31
25.31
XPD1
13,975,369.03
13,975,369.03
XPF1
139.15
139.15
XPT1
12,833,688.88
12,833,688.88
YER1
56.63
56.63
ZAR1
1,138.26
1,138.26
ZMW1
1,381.61
1,381.61
ZWL1
43.99
43.99
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services