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Jakarta Post

ASEAN eyes free trade consolidation with ‘+6’

  • Esther Samboh

    The Jakarta Post

Nusa Dua, Bali   /   Thu, November 17 2011   /  09:07 am

In the process of integrating the region’s economies, ASEAN plans to consolidate free-trade agreements with the region’s trading partners in a move that would relax export procedures and boost trade volume within what may be the world’s biggest regional bloc.

The move also is seen as a counter-reaction to the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which many fear will erode ASEAN’s centrality in the regional economic structure.

Dialogue partners for the so-called “ASEAN framework for regional and comprehensive partnership” plan include six nations that currently have free-trade pacts with the region, namely China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Indonesian Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said on Wednesday.

The planned “ASEAN+6” trade pact, according to Hatta, would have a market of half of the world’s population (3...