In addition, China`s share of ASEAN`s total trade rose from 2.1% in 1994 to 7% in 2003, making China ASEAN`s fourth largest trading partner after the European Union (11.5%), Japan (13.7%) 2000. United States of America (14%). The ASEAN-China Investment Agreement was signed on 15 August 2009 and came into force on 1 January 2010. It aims to create an environment conducive to investors and their investments from ASEAN and China and thus establishes essential safeguards that ensure fair and equitable treatment of investors, non-discriminatory treatment in the event of nationalisation or expropriation, and compensation for losses. It has provisions allowing the free and freely usable transfer of profits, as well as a provision for the settlement of investor-state disputes, allowing investors to resort to arbitration. In the absence of an end to the trade war between the United States and China, the updated protocol of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement also allows China to have better access to the entire neighbouring region and to diversify its focus from the European and American markets. In August 2019, changes to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement came into force and simplified the rules governing trade in goods, services and investment in the ASEAN-China Economic Zone, home to more than 1.8 billion people. In addition, a new section on customs procedures and trade facilitation has been added, which specifies operational certification procedures for the application and obtaining of preferential tariffs. The „Form E” established by the protocol verifies the admissibility of products exported for preferential processing. The framework agreement was signed by eleven heads of government on 4 November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
: Hassanal Bolkiah (Sultan of Brunei Darussalam), Hun Sen (Prime Minister of Cambodia), Megawati Soekarnoputri (President of Indonesia), Bounnhang Vorachith (Prime Minister of Laos), Mahathir bin Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia), Than Shwe (Prime Minister Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President of the Philippines), Goh Chok Tong (Prime Minister of Singapore), Thaksin Shinawatra (Prime Minister of Thailand), Phan Ven Khi (Prime Minister of Vietnam), Zhu Rongji (Prime Minister of the State Council of the People`s Republic of China).   In addition to the Trade in Goods Agreement, ASEAN and China also signed the Trade in Services Agreement (ACTISA) on 14 January 2007 for the first package of specific commitments and on 16 November 2011 for the second package of specific commitments. Both packages provide for the extension of services exchanges, with better market access and treatment in sectors/sub-sectors where commitments have been made. The agreement excludes the liberalisation of procurement and government-related services. The economic ties between aSEAN and China are moving in a new direction. In November 2001, ASEAN and China agreed to conclude a free trade agreement between ASEAN and China in ten years. More than a strategic step to show China`s interest in Southeast Asia, there are implications of such an agreement. There should be net trade benefits for both parties: the creation of trade would compensate for trade diversion, with ASEAN being slightly diverted, while the same trade shift would not be obvious to China. Given Indochina`s strong growth, it would appear that China would need more inputs and that it could provide ASEAN with an alternative source of inputs for natural resources and inputs into a free trade agreement. BOTH ASEAN and China`s hope for prosperity will be closely linked to their external orientation and the role of developed countries in providing more opportunities and thus creating a stronger foundation for growth and stability. A new free trade agreement has also opened up a debate on the possible creation of an „Asian Economic Community”.
This ACFTA for goods would soon be complemented by services and investments, with aggressive monitoring of negotiations on these relevant areas in 2005.