In this Op-Ed in China Daily, “FTA pushes ASEAN ties,” an associate professor at the School of International Studies of Nanjing University had these interesting statistics about the trade volume between China and ASEAN countries:
A much-anticipated free trade area (FTA) between China and the regional bloc was formally launched in early 2010, which, with a $4.5 trillion trade volume, ranks as the world’s third largest trade zone. The bilateral trade value in the first half of this year reached $136.5 billion, an increase of 55 percent year on year, and the figure for the full year is expected to total $250 billion.
I blogged about the FTA at the beginning of this year, “Xinhua: “China-ASEAN free trade area starts operation”.” What I find the more impressive is given the current global recession, trade between China and ASEAN is actually roaring. My guess is the trade volume may end up well above $250 billion by the end of 2010. Especially if protectionism escalates between the U.S. and China, then bilateral trade between China and ASEAN will exceed the former. In the long run, I expect China-ASEAN trade volume to also be bigger.