Regional Trade Blocks


Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Presently, its headquarters is located in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Its official languages are English (working language), Burmese, Filipino, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, Thai, and Vietnamese.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • It is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and entered into force on 1 January 1994 in order to establish a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
  • NAFTA has three member States, namely Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
  • Its members are free to pursue their own external trade policies. It is a free trade agreement and retains an entity of economic integration with shallow political cooperation only, and no aspirations to further political integration.
  • It has a global objective to expand benefits to members and non-members.
South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)
  • It is the free trade arrangement of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
  • The agreement came into force in 2006, succeeding the 1993 SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement. SAFTA signatory countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
  • SAFTA recognizes the need for special and differential treatment for LDCs in its preamble.

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