Centre for International Law

III. ASEAN External Legal Relations Group

ASEAN has made huge strides in developing Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs). The critical edge in this practice is that the international agreement will often have sharper edges than the corresponding internal ASEAN regime. A second sensitive point is the myriad range of Rules of Origin of ASEAN as well as the individual Member States which at times defeat the economic advantages (as distinct from the political advantages) of the Agreements. This, too, is an open ended element, focusing on what is considered essential and where there can be most legal added value.