The Role of Preferential Trading Arrangements in Asia

Publication | July 2002
The Role of Preferential Trading Arrangements in Asia

Recently, there has been renewed interest in the formation of Preferential Trading Arrangements (PTAs) in the Asian and Pacific region. Japan and Singapore signed an Economic Partnership Agreement in February 2002. The previous year, Singapore signed a bilateral trade agreement with New Zealand. Japanese policymakers have proposed a Japan-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area was proposed by the People's Republic of China and endorsed by ASEAN's ten leaders in the organization's ministerial meeting in Brunei in October 2001. Also in February 2002, government representatives of 14 Pacific Island nations met and agreed to form a PTA. Most recently, during an Asian tour of the US Trade Representative, several new proposals for bilateral trade agreements emerged from talks with policymakers in the region.


  • Pros and Cons of PTAs
  • PTAs and the Global Multilateral Trading System
  • PTAs, the WTO, or Both?
  • References