The free trade agreement with China is in pursuit of EU trade sanctions. Brussels has partially suspended Cambodia`s duty-free access to the bloc due to human rights violations. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)  is a trade agreement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that supports local trade and local production in all ASEAN countries and facilitates economic integration with regional and international allies.    It is one of the largest and most important free trade zones in the world and, with its network of dialogue partners, has promoted some of the world`s largest multilateral forums and blocs, including Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, the East Asia Summit and regional economic partnership.      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, created a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  The United States, the European Union and Japan remained ASEAN`s main export markets. Japan, followed by the United States and the EU, was ASEAN`s main source of imports. In the first half of 2002-03, ASEAN-6 trade with major markets increased by 11.71% for exports and 6.91% for imports. However, ASEAN exports to the United States and India, as well as imports from Canada and India, declined over the same period. [Figure 5] 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. PHNOM PENH: China and Cambodia signed a free trade agreement concluded in less than a year on Monday (October 12th) to reduce tariffs and improve market access between Beijing and one of its key Asian allies.
Other agreements include the modernization of a hospital and drainage infrastructure in the coastal city of Sihanoukville, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to Fresh News, China also announced an additional $140 million in aid. 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. The upward trend in ASEAN-6 continued until the first two quarters of 2003. In the first two quarters of 2003, intra-ASEAN trade increased by 4.2% and 1.6% respectively in exports and imports. [Figures 2, 3 and 4] Trade between the two countries was estimated at more than $7.4 billion in 2018, with China running a trade surplus of more than $6 billion.
With the free trade agreement, the two countries want to boost bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2023. Previous remarks by Cambodian government officials stressed that the agreement focused on improving agricultural exports to China. In a statement on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, it was said that the agreement constituted a wide range of cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, tourism, transport and agriculture.