The AFTA-CER Dialogue

Smith, Anthony L.
March 1998
ASEAN Economic Bulletin;Mar98, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p238
Academic Journal
In 1994 the then Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, publicly floated the idea of linking two free trade areas, namely AFTA and CER. He made his announcement after consultation with ASEAN officials. Both Australia and New Zealand are interested in greater links between the two free trading areas but they are conscious that they must form the linkage at ASEAN's pace. To date the AFTA CER dialogue has remained at the level of trade facilitation, through such means as information exchange on customs and standards, and has not yet moved into substantial trade liberation between the two areas. However, the AFTA-CER dialogue presents an important breakthrough for both free trade areas: negotiation and trade discussion, between economic regions. The idea will only have currency if it contains mutual benefit to both sides of the negotiation.


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