The creation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) was agreed at the 1992 ASEAN Summit in Singapore. The main objectives of the AFTA are to:
create a single market and an international production base;
attract foreign direct investments; and
expand intra-ASEAN trade and investments.
The liberalisation of trade in the region through elimination of both intra-regional tariffs and non-tariff barriers had contributed towards making ASEAN's manufacturing sectors more efficient and competitive in the global market. As a result, consumers are able to source goods from the more efficient producers in ASEAN, thus creating a robust intra-ASEAN trade.
Effective 1 January 2010, Malaysia with five other ASEAN Member States (which are Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) is a complete free trade area. These countries have eliminated import duties on 99 per cent of products in the Inclusion List and AFTA is almost completely realised among the ASEAN-6. On average, today ASEAN 6 has 99.20% of tariff lines in the Inclusion List at 0%. Only 0.35% or less than 1% of the Tariff Lines in the Inclusion list has import duties.
For Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, collectively referred to as CLMV, 90.85% of the Tariff Lines in the Inclusion List are already at 0%.
On the average, ASEAN member states have 95.99% Tariff Lines at 0% according to the ATIGA Tariff Schedule of 2015.