“No”, says this story from the Economist:ASEAN trade with China has grown faster than internal trade under the preferentia tariff. bq. No one knows what proportion of trade within ASEAN actually takes advantage of the Common Effective Preferential Tariff, as the AFTA-mandated rates are known. Some estimates put the figure as low as 5 percent. An official at the ASEAN secretariat says he thinks the share is bigger, but admits he cannot prove it, since the member countries have not bothered to provide the secretariat with the relevant data. (“Economist”:http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2968833) I’ve noted “here”:http://www.inquit.com/article/149/asean-relaunches-free-trade-agreements before that ASEAN’s more liberal economies (Singapore, Thailand and possibly Malaysia under its new leadership) are reaching outside the group, individually, to build more effective trade opportunities.
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher