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The framework agreement was signed by eleven heads of government on 4 November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. : Hassanal Bolkiah (Sultan of Brunei Darussalam), Hun Sen (Prime Minister of Cambodia), Megawati Soekarnoputri (President of Indonesia), Bounnhang Vorachith (Prime Minister of Laos), Mahathir bin Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia), Than Shwe (Prime Minister Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President of the Philippines), Goh Chok Tong (Prime Minister of Singapore), Thaksin Shinawatra (Prime Minister of Thailand), Phan Ven Khi (Prime Minister of Vietnam), Zhu Rongji (Prime Minister of the State Council of the People`s Republic of China).   For more information, please contact: email@example.com External Economic Relations Division The FRAMEWORK agreement for comprehensive economic cooperation between ASEAN and China, signed on 5 November 2002, marks ASEAN`s first free trade agreement with a dialogue partner. The framework currently includes three agreements; Trade in goods, services and investments concluded in November 2004, January 2007 and August 2009, respectively. Since the introduction of ACFTA, China`s share of ASEAN`s total merchandise trade has increased from 8% in 2004 to 21% in 2018, making it ASEAN`s largest trading partner with $591.1 billion in trade. China also ranked third in ASEAN direct investment in 2017, with a volume of $11.3 billion. After the first six signatories reached their target by 2010, the CLMV countries (Cambodia, PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam) pursued the same customs policy, with the same goal to be achieved by 2015.  In 2010, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area became the largest free trade area in terms of population and the third largest in nominal GDP. It was also the third volume of trade after the European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Area.   As more and more countries appear to be opting for increasing protectionism, the Southeast Asian region and China are actively forging enhanced regional and global trade and investment links. The free trade agreement reduced tariffs to 7,881 product categories, or 90% of imported products at zero.  This reduction came into effect in China and in the original six ASEAN members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The other four countries are expected to follow in 2015.
 From August 2019, the updated protocol will make changes to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) by simplifying rules of origin, customs procedures, trade facilitation measures and investment rules. 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. All of this requires that the agreements be implemented faithfully. This is not an easy task considering that national legislation may need to be amended to take account of these new agreements. Since the first ACFTA is excluded, there has been concern about the potential negative impact on production and employment in sensitive sectors in ASEAN Member States.