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Editors' note
Amid the chime to ring in the New Year, the start of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area came as a milestone in the annals of China-ASEAN relations, and it may well serve as a model for regional cooperation not only in Asia, but in other parts of the world.
China's investment in southeast Asia will rise rapidly as firms become more eager to go abroad with economic recovery, a senior commerce official said Thursday.
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday held a ceremony marking the establishment of the world's largest free trade area.
Milestones for China-ASEAN FTA
  • · China and ASEAN started their dialogue in 1991.
     In December 1997, leaders of the two sides issued a
    joint declaration at the first China-ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur.
     China and ASEAN signed the Framework Agreement
    on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation in 
    November 2002.
     In November 2004, China and ASEAN signed 
     a free trade goods agreement and dispute settlement
     agreement at the eighth China-ASEAN Summit in Vientiane.
     The two sides began reducing tariffs at the start of 2005. 
     In 2007, their trade reached a new high.
     On January 1,2010, China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone formed.


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