State agency wants Thailand to have more free trade agreements to compete with ASEAN

There are now fifteen free trade agreements (FTAs) in effect between Thailand and 19 nations; six of these are bilateral agreements with

Mar 30, 2024 - 14:48
 0  8
State agency wants Thailand to have more free trade agreements to compete with ASEAN

State agency wants Thailand to have more free trade agreements to compete with ASEAN

 There are now fifteen free trade agreements (FTAs) in effect between Thailand and 19 nations; six of these are bilateral agreements with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Peru, and Chile. In the meanwhile, eight regional agreements exist between China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, and the Asean Economic Community, as well as between ASEAN—of which Thailand is a part.

 The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes 15 nations—10 from ASEAN, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea—is the most recent free trade agreement (FTA) that Thailand is a member of.

TPSO director-general Poonpong Naiyanapakorn said that Vietnam, Thailand’s prominent competitor in ASEAN, had secured 16 FTAs with 45 countries, with more partners than Thailand, including the Eurasian Economic Union, Cuba, and United Kingdom. Vietnam is also a member of RCEP and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Thailand is yet to become a part of the CPTPP.

Meanwhile, another ASEAN rival, Indonesia, has 14 active FTAs with 22 countries, including members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the United Arab Emirates. Indonesia is also a member of RCEP.

Poonpong pointed out that Thailand is at a disadvantage compared to Vietnam and Indonesia due to lack of FTAs with countries in Oceania, South America, European Union, and Eurasia. He urged related agencies to focus on negotiating with countries in these zones to increase the country’s competitiveness in international trade.

Last year, Thailand exported products to FTA partners worth US$167.2 billion, while Vietnam exported $223.89 billion worth of goods to its partners and Indonesia’s exports to partners amounted to $181.66 billion, the TPSO said.

The office added that Thailand was in the process of negotiating seven more FTAs, which are expected to be finalised within this year. Prospective agreement partners include the United Arab Emirates, the EFTA, Canada, Pakistan and Turkey.

What's Your Reaction?

like

dislike

love

funny

angry

sad

wow