ASEAN Secretariat: 70-A Jalan Sisingamangaraja Jakarta 12110 Indonesia Phone: (62-21) 726-2991, 724-3372 Fax: (62-21) 739-8234, 724-3504 Telex: 47213, 47214 ASEAN-JKT Website: www.asean.org The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is a trade agreement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to support local trade and production in all ASEAN countries and facilitate economic integration with regional and international allies.    It is one of the largest and most important free trade zones in the world and, with its network of dialogue partners, has promoted some of the world`s largest multilateral forums and blocs, including Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, the East Asia Summit and regional economic partnership.       The China-backed agreement is seen as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a Washington trade initiative that no longer exists. At the 2nd East Asia Summit, members signed Cebu`s Declaration on East Asian Energy Security and the Agreement, which sets non-binding targets for methods to bring ”reliable, appropriate and affordable” energy to the future and to develop alternative energy sources such as biofuels. Discussions focused on deepening integration, which focused mainly on two economic initiatives: the launch of a study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and the review of Japan`s proposal for an Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). The EAS also attempted to improve its relations with China by signing an agreement on trade in services. 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. The agreement was reached in 2002, but it has some basis in a 1990 agreement between ASEAN environment ministers, which called for efforts to harmonize practices to prevent and reduce cross-border pollution.  Indonesia was the last ASEAN country to ratify the agreement in 2014, 12 years after it was first signed in 2002.
 Concerns remain about the Indonesian government`s ability to monitor and change the problem. The pact reduces tariffs, opens up the services sector and establishes common rules on trade within the bloc.