The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) has now been virtually established. ASEAN Member Countries have made significant progress in the lowering of intra-regional tariffs through the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme for AFTA.
The goal of the ASEAN Economic Community is to establish ASEAN as a single market and production base that will make ASEAN more dynamic and competitive. In this context, one of the five core elements of an ASEAN single market and production base is the free flow of investments.
Free flow of trade in services is one of the important elements in realising ASEAN Economic
Community, where there will be substantially no restriction to ASEAN services suppliers in providing services and in establishing companies across national borders within the region, subject to domestic regulations.
The Governments of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Member States of the Association of South East Asian Nations (hereinafter collectively referred to as “ASEAN” or “Member States” or singularly as “Member State”);
ASEAN Agreement on Movement of Natural Persons (MNP) was signed on November 19th 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with the objective of significantly removing the barriers to the temporary movement across borders of natural persons engaged on trade in goods, services and investment between ASEAN countries.