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China-ASEAN tariff cuts

China and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are

speeding up the tariff reduction process to facilitate establishment of a free trade

area (FTA), said a foreign trade official on October 10 in Beijing.

China's average tariff on ASEAN countries' goods was slashed from 9.9 percent to

8.1 percent last year, and will drop to 6.6 percent next year, said Yin Zonghua,

Deputy Director with the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of

the Ministry of Commerce.

The average tariff level will continue to drop to 2.4 percent in 2009, and finally

in 2010, the scheduled time for the establishment of the China-ASEAN FTA, 93 percent

of products from ASEAN countries will be tariff-free.

By 2010, China will establish FTAs with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,

Singapore and Thailand, while Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar will have five

more years of transition.



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