Findings suggest that certain pressing issues are yet to be addressed to ensure success in the free trade area. Lack of political will and consensus dependent negotiation are two significant impediments in the path of development and enhancement of ASEAN foreign trade area. Inadequate strategies to implement and harmonize the initiatives have been the major obstacle in the successful execution of AFTA. Innovation in the agreement design, concentration on shared concerns, implementation of appropriate monitoring strategies, specification of the roles of secretariat and establishment of specialized bodies as sub-units and working groups can boost up the development process through AFTA.
The establishment of ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) cannot be seen in isolation from the group’s drive for economic integration. In the year 1992, the latter phenomenon gained momentum with the establishment of AFTA, which reached its peak in the year 1997. At the end of 1990s, regionalism in ASEAN and East Asia propelled the development and enhancement of the trade market. This report aims to trace the evolution of regional economic integration in ASEAN with special emphasis on AFTA. After the establishment of AFTA, the total trade volume in regional trade area had increased. The report is an effort to look into the objective and framework of AFTA.
The increased significance of regional groups in the field of politics, money and trade has boosted the establishment of regional integration schemes. However, regional integration is not a new phenomenon. Examples of such associations are found in unions, commonwealth, leagues, associations, councils which have been formed in different periods of history (Mattli, 1999). Each of them aimed to integrate countries, regions, people and activities. AFTA is surely not an exception. However, with the establishment of this trading environment, the intensity of the above mentioned