SIAs serve to support major trade negotiations, providing a comprehensive analysis of the possible impacts of the future agreement which feeds into the negotiation process. They further serve to foster communication with the wider public, by gathering a broad range of inputs and providing information on the FTA under negotiation and on its likely impacts. Therefore, an important element of their successful delivery is to ensure that far-reaching stakeholder consultation, in addition to literature and data analysis, is thoroughly incorporated into the research process. This process also allows the integration of the views of the interested parties in the preparation of mitigation and accompanying measures to ensure that the expected positive impacts are maximised and the possible negative impacts are off-set following the adoption of the agreement. SIAs also serve to clarify complex issues related to economic, social, human rights and environmental development in policymaking, thereby promoting transparency in the policymaking process and generating an informed public discussion in addition to informed decision-making.
In 2007, region-to-region FTA negotiations were launched between ASEAN and the EU, with Malaysia as a Party to the negotiations. These negotiations were paused in 2009 and bilateral negotiations were launched between the EU and individual ASEAN member states.