The ASEAN Secretariat has the authority to monitor and ensure compliance with AFTA measures, but has no legal authority to enforce them. This has led to contradictory decisions by the ASEAN national authorities. The ASEAN Charter aims to strengthen the capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat to ensure consistent implementation of AFTA`s actions. An international treaty entitled: Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), signed on 27 February 2009 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, established a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is gaining importance as a trading bloc and is now the third largest in the world after the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. . . .