Singapore, with its wealth of financial and other services, also has a free trade agreement with China. This contract, signed in 2009, focuses on the services sector, in addition to individual income tax benefits. Singapore intends to increase its population by an additional 2 million people and many of them are expected to be prosperous Chinese nationals on the continent. Among the benefits to businesses is the reduction in withholding tax for a large number of services, including royalties. This is one of the reasons why Singapore is becoming a regional investment centre in China and Asia and is receiving more and more Chinese foreign investment going in the opposite direction, to Singapore and to reinvest throughout Asia. Since foreign investors are automatically considered Singaporean companies when setting up a subsidiary, they can also access Singapore`s impressive range of international tax treaties – including many other free trade agreements and more than 80 bilateral double taxation agreements. Economists have tried to assess the extent to which free trade agreements can be considered public goods. First, they deal with a key element of free trade agreements, the system of on-board tribunals, which act as arbiters in international trade disputes. These serve as a clarification of existing statutes and international economic policies, as confirmed by trade agreements.  First, tariffs and other rules applicable to trade with non-parties to this free trade area in each of the parties that signed a free trade area in force at the time of the creation of this free trade area must not be higher or more restrictive than tariffs and other rules applicable in the same signatory countries prior to the creation of the free trade area.
In other words, the creation of a free trade area to give preferential treatment to their members is legitimate under WTO law, but parties to a free trade area are not allowed to treat non-parties less favourably than before the creation of the territory. A second requirement under Article XXIV is that tariffs and other trade barriers must be eliminated primarily for all trade within the free trade area.  Or there are guidelines that exempt certain products from duty-free status in order to protect domestic producers from foreign competition in their industries. This agreement was signed in 2002 and came into force three years ago. The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area is the largest free trade area in the world in terms of population and, after the European Union and NAFTA, the third largest in terms of nominal GDP.