Asia and the impact of free trade agreements
8 August 2014 Last updated at 04:18 BST
Only one in four Asian exporters actually benefit from free trade agreements and almost half say they do not understand them according to an HSBC study.
Nevertheless much effort has been made by governments to sign up to such deals.
Earlier this year Japan and Australia have agreed a trade deal which will see them lower tariffs on imports of key products.
Ashleigh Nghiem has more from Singapore.