Premier Li Keqiang attended the signing ceremony of the upgraded protocol of the free trade agreement (FTA) between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Nov 22.
The protocol decided to revise the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN and amended several articles of the agreement, signaling the comprehensive ending of the negotiation to upgrade the China-ASEAN FTA.
China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and commerce leaders from ASEAN countries together signed the protocol as the representatives from each government.
The China-ASEAN free trade area is the biggest and the first one that China participated in, and has greatly promoted the healthy and steady development of bilateral relations since the process was comprehensively set up in 2010.
China is ASEAN’s largest trading partner, and ASEAN is China’s third-largest. Signing of the protocol will help the two sides to achieve the goal of $1 trillion bilateral trade volume by 2020, and boost the negotiation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the building of the Asia-Pacific free trade area.