Negotiations were frozen in 2017 as negotiations cannot take place in isolation from the wider context, in particular the EU`s serious human rights concerns. As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar participates in all intra-ASEAN agreements as well as multilateral free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan and South Korea. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) was established in 1998 in Myanmar with the aim of eliminating tariffs on all tariff lines by 2018. Free trade agreements (FTAs) have been signed with China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Myanmar has bilateral trade agreements with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia, as well as with a number of Eastern European countries. Myanmar is a member of the WTO and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sector technical technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Myanmar has border agreements with China, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos. The Government of Myanmar has signed a series of memoranda of understanding aimed at expanding bilateral trade with these countries. The United States and Myanmar also signed a framework agreement on trade and investment in May 2013.