ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) - World Arbitration Reporter, Second Edition
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
The economic power of the Asia-Pacific region has risen exponentially over the past two decades, resulting in a fundamental shift in international economic relations. This growth has been facilitated by the emergence of China and India as dominant global economies, as well as the collective economic powerhouse created by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Some of these countries are now considerable capital exporters which, over the last decade or so, have been seeking to liberalize investment flows and strengthen their networks of international trade and investment agreements. Stephan Schill has highlighted the rise of Asia as an influential “rule-maker” in the area of international investment law, with a move away from the traditional dominating economies in Europe and North America. He has observed that there is a “fundamental shift towards the transpacific” in international investment law.
The various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which ASEAN has concluded over the past decade are a significant contributor to the increasingly active and visible leadership role that the Asia-Pacific region is taking in international investment law. This Chapter focuses on one of these agreements, the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). It examines the context, content, and role of this Agreement in liberalising trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chapter also considers the position of the AANZFTA within the broader trade and investment matrix now developing from the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The AANZFTA is one of the “new generation” international trade and investment agreements which liberalize trade in goods and services, while also containing investment protection provisions. These are highly complex, multi-chaptered agreements that are heavily negotiated and, as a result, are more detailed and nuanced in their investment protections than traditional Bilateral Investment Agreements (BITs).