The creation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) was agreed at the ASEAN summit in Singapore in 1992. The main objectives of the AFTA are: the main mechanism to achieve the AFTA`s objectives is the Common Preferential Tariff System (CEPT), which in 1992 set a gradual timetable to “increase the region`s competitive advantage as a production base for the global market”. The phasing out and removal of intra-regional duties within ASEAN is based on product sensitivity to the domestic industry of ASEAN Member States (AMS). Trade facilitation is one of the most important policy measures to support the free movement of goods for the creation of a domestic market and production base, when the first CEA was agreed by the Heads of State and Government in 2007 in 2015. As part of the 2009-2015 AEC project, trade facilitation aims at simple, harmonized and standardized trade and customs procedures, which will improve export competitiveness and facilitate ASEAN`s integration into an internal market for goods, services and investment, as well as a single production base. ASEAN will continue to place a high priority on trade facilitation initiatives, which is largely incorporated into the AEC`s 2025 plan. The Trade Facilitation Initiative paves the way for a variety of work, including the development of a comprehensive action plan to facilitate trade, and welcomed other ongoing efforts to improve trade facilitation through various initiatives, including the ASEAN self-certification system, the creation of an ASEAN trade register. , ASEAN`s unique window, ASEAN`s investment, services and trade solutions, and ASEAN`s customs transit system. These initiatives have taught ASEAN`s efforts to increase transparency and access to regulatory environment information in the various ASEAN Member States and have greatly facilitated the region`s activities. In addition, it will provide the private sector with an urgent way to raise concerns about business activities in a more systematic, timely and less costly manner.
In addition to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) between ASEAN countries, the regional trade bloc has signed several free trade agreements with some of the major economies in the Asia-Pacific region. These include the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP). The aim of these free trade agreements is to encourage and encourage businesses of all sizes in ASEAN to trade without customs barriers, both regionally and internationally. Companies operating in ASEAN can take advantage of free trade agreements to facilitate access to new export markets for their low-cost products and benefit from simplified export and import procedures. rationalizing provisions for amending trade concessions and remedial measures; Best practices in trade facilitation applied by each Member State; and an international agreement entitled: Agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), signed on 27 February 2009 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, created a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  Ensure consistency of the provisions currently set out in the various agreements, documents, decisions of the AFTA Council and the ASEAN Economic Ministers` Meeting (MEA); reviewing and improving the CEPT system was one of the most important measures identified under the 2015 AEC for creating a free flow of goods in the region.