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A free-trade area is a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free-trade agreement, which eliminates tariffs, import quotas, and preferences on most goods and services traded between them. If people are also free to move between the countries, in addition to FTA, it would also be considered an open border. It can be considered the second stage of economic integration. Countries choose this kind of economic integration if their economical structures are complementary. If their economical structures are competitive, it is likely there will be no incentive for a FTA, or only selected areas of goods and services will be covered to fulfill the economic interests between the two signatories of FTA. (via Freebase)