The agreement was signed by ASEAN Member States and India on 13 August 2009 and came into force on 1 January 2010. India and Indonesia recorded a total trade value of $14.4 billion in 2015. The ASEAN bloc has largely eliminated all import and export taxes on goods traded between them, with the exception of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which continue to impose nominal duties on certain items. But these will also be fully lifted on 31 December 2015, so that the entire region will be duty-free from that date. The manufacturing trend is therefore to continue to develop products for this huge consumer market, but to place the production capacity needed for this purpose on a cheaper site. The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement with China allows regional companies and MNN in Asia to do so. This is a trend that is already underway – as we are seeing with Foxconn, the manufacturer of many components that end up in Apple products, who want to relocate their 1.3 million workers from China and Indonesia, where wages are lower and where there is a large and available workforce. This is a solid strategy that is increasingly being adopted by many manufacturers. ASEAN national authorities are also traditionally reluctant to share or cede sovereignty to the authorities of other ASEAN members (although ASEAN trade ministries regularly conduct cross-border visits to conduct on-site checks as part of anti-dumping investigations).

Unlike the EU or NAFTA, joint teams to ensure compliance and control of violations have not been widely used. Instead, ASEAN national authorities must rely on the verification and analysis of other ASEAN national authorities to determine whether AFTA`s measures, such as the rule of origin, are being complied with. Differences of opinion may arise between national authorities. Again, the ASEAN secretariat can help resolve a dispute, but it has no right to resolve it. In most cases, the free trade agreement includes an advanced dispute resolution mechanism that allows the parties concerned to assert their rights under the agreement.