The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is a free trade area between the ten member states of the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People`s Republic of China. These agreements represent the steady growth of bilateral trade between the Philippines and China. Today, China is one of the country`s largest trading partners, with an export value of $944.23 million in August 2019. In addition, with 23.1% of total imports in August 2019, it also brings the highest value of imported goods into the country. China is also one of the country`s largest investors with investments of $980 million in 2018. Joint declaration of intent between the National Economic and Development Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the People`s Republic of China regarding the creation of the Economics Working Group. Signed in Manila on January 15, 2007. ASEAN members together have a population of more than 650 million. Indonesia accounts for more than 40% of the region`s population and its population has been the most opposed to the agreement.   Philippines – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement The Philippines and Japan concluded a free trade agreement in 2008. The VPA is the Philippines` only bilateral free trade agreement covering, among other things, trade in goods, trade in services, investment, personal transport, intellectual property, customs procedures, improving the business environment and public procurement.
China first proposed the idea of a free trade area in November 2000. The leaders of ASEAN and China therefore decided to discuss economic integration measures in the region the following year In Brunei, they supported the creation of an ASEAN-China free trade area.  The first step involved the first six signatories who, until 2010, committed to abolishing their tariffs on 90% of their products.  Between 2003 and 2008, trade with ASEAN increased from $59.6 billion to $192.5 billion.  China`s transformation into a major economic power in the 21st century has led to an increase in foreign investment in the bamboo network, with a network of Overseas Chinese companies operating in Southeast Asian markets and sharing family and cultural ties.   In 2008, ASEAN members and the People`s Republic of China had a nominal gross domestic product of about $6 trillion.   The free trade agreement reduced tariffs to zero to 7,881 categories of goods, or 90% of imported goods.  This reduction came into effect in China and in the original six ASEAN members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.