So, what if the main goal of the JSEPA really isn't about increasing trade between Japan and Sinapore?
1. "Prime Minister Goh expressed his hope that the JSEPA would ‘have a positive demonstration effect on
other countries and would hopefully give impetus towards the creation of more FTAs’ (Straits
Times 23 October 2000).
2. The JSEPA was not the end, but a sort of means for stimulating
the trade liberalisation movement in East Asia, which had fallen inert after the 1997 Asian financial
3. China’s interest in concluding a FTA with ASEAN was spurred by Japan’s interest in an
FTA with South Korea and the announcement of the JSEPA negotiations (Terada 2003)
4. The policy
shift by Japan led China to feel isolated in the FTA movement in East Asia. China ultimately joined it
by proposing an FTA with ASEAN in October 2000, which was officially agreed on in November 2001.