The manufacturing trend is therefore to continue to develop products for this huge consumer market, but to place the production capacity needed for this purpose on a cheaper site. The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement with China allows regional companies and MNN in Asia to do so. This is a trend that is already underway – as we are seeing with Foxconn, the manufacturer of many components that end up in Apple products, who want to relocate their 1.3 million workers from China and Indonesia, where wages are lower and where there is a large and available workforce. This is a solid strategy that is increasingly being adopted by many manufacturers. An international agreement entitled: Agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), signed on 27 February 2009 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, has created a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  Other ASEAN treaties are being negotiated, including with Japan, which already has a number of global economic partnerships, while South Korea already has a free trade agreement. Both resemble the above – the reduction of more than 90% of all goods traded between ASEAN and these countries. Although these ASEAN national customs and trade authorities coordinate with each other, disputes can arise. The ASEAN secretariat does not have the legal authority to resolve these disputes, so disputes are resolved bilaterally through informal means or dispute resolution.
The ASEAN bloc has largely eliminated all import and export taxes on goods traded between them, with the exception of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which continue to impose nominal duties on certain items. But these will also be fully lifted on 31 December 2015, so that the entire region will be duty-free from that date. In order to encourage increased use of the CEPTAFTA system, a major transformation has also been adopted as an alternative rule for determining the origin of CEPT products. The CEPT Rules of Origin Task Force is currently working on key processing rules for certain product sectors, including wheat flour, iron and steel, and the eleven priority integration sectors covered by Bali Concord II. ASEAN exports increased their upward trend in the two years following the 1997-98 financial crisis and peaked in 2000, when total exports were valued at $408 billion. Following the fall in ASEAN exports to $366.8 billion in 2001 as a result of the economic slowdown in the United States and Europe and the recession in Japan, ASEAN exports recovered in 2002 to $380.2 billion.