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For several island nations, the perceived notion of isolation shows that trade with other nations can prove challenging. In Southeast Asia, for example, resident nations attended to rely upon one another for goods, therefore it stands to reason a trade agreement can benefit all involved. Nearly fifty years back, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was formed to improve the entire economic health of the region through joint participation in trade and development. Only recently have the ASEAN nations get together to expand relations with larger economies, namely Australia and New Zealand. for more info

In early 2010, the ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand Free Trade Agreement was ratified by the following nations:


    • Australia – Australia could very well be one of the largest countries in the southern hemisphere where mining is a primary industry. This nation exports coal and iron ores, as well as livestock and beef. Their proximity to China and Japan afford these nations status as important trade partners.


    • Brunei Darussalam – An oil-rich nation, oil and natural gas rank on the list of country’s largest export commodities. Japan, Indonesia, and Australia take advantage of Brunei’s petroleum production, which can be one of the highest in the world.


    • Myanmar – Of the AANZFTA nations, Myanmar (Burma) has one of the smallest economies. The country relies heavily on trade with treaty partners, including Thailand, and exports mainly natural gas and wood products, seafood and rice.


    • New Zealand – New Zealand trades primarily with Australia, imports and exports. Largely agricultural in terms of outgoing commodities, New Zealand exports an average of $26 billion in dairy, meat, and fish.


    • The Philippines – This island nation maintains good trade relations with several countries, like the United States and Japan. Copper, electronics, and textiles are among the products exported.


    • Singapore – Like fellow AANZFTA members, Singapore also exports computers and accessories, and some petroleum products. Most of the trade, with the exception of the United States, is concentrated in Southeast Asia.


  • Vietnam – Vietnam is noted for textile production, especially shoes and related athletic clothing. The country also exports some oil, wood products, and rice.


Subsequent entries into AANZFTA since the first establishment have included:


  • Cambodia – Following years of internal conflict, Cambodia spent some time working in early 21st century to improve trade. Agricultural commodities like timber, rubber, and seafood are popular exports, especially to the United States.
  • Indonesia – Nearly all of Indonesia’s outgoing trade is concentrated in Southeast Asia, with trade partners receiving the country’s method of getting natural gas, rubber, and textiles.
  • Laos – Laos produces timber products, coffee, and textiles to major export partners, which include AANZFTA members Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Thailand – While tourism is a major income generator for Thailand, the united states ranks as a top exporter of rice. Other exports include fish and seafood, and textiles.


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Goals of the treaty, aside from improving economies and trade across member borders, include protection of intellectual property and eCommerce interests. Once we move deeper in to the digital age, such concerns have grown to be important as technology comes to the region. This could prove essential in 2015, whenever a proposed ASEAN Economic Community is established. This community is made to unify the ASEAN nations associated with this trade agreement and create a single market and production base to generally meet the growing needs of member nations. A specific economy can be important in improving relations with outside economic powers.

With AANZFTA in force, the practice of lower tariffs in trade among member nations should assist those countries with smaller GDPs in obtaining needed goods and improving internal production. Modernization of business practices and the hope of extending relations beyond Southeast Asia might also benefit these smaller economies and eventually reduce steadily the isolation with this region. visit for more info