Taking Advantage of ASEAN's Free Trade Agreements: A guide for small and medium-sized enterprises

By Damon Vis-Dunbar, Paige McClanahan, Alexander Chandra, Ruben Hattari, Damon Vis-Dunbar on January 24, 2014

In the past decade, the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have taken significant steps to reduce the barriers to trade among the 10 nations among their membership.

Over the same period, ASEAN officials have signed five major free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Such steps have helped to lower tariffs, streamline regulations, and generally simplify export and import processes. As such, these economic integration initiatives present significant opportunities for ASEAN-based businesses.

By using the opportunities that these FTAs provide, firms can find new markets for their products and potentially increase their output. Economic growth is good for businesses, but it is also good for the economies of the region. As such, by making full use of ASEAN's economic integration initiatives, SMEs can expand their businesses, create new jobs, offer their customers more goods and services, and generally help to promote economic growth and sustainable development across the region.

Report details

Asia and Pacific
Focus area
IISD, 2014