Thailand pushing for more trade pacts after inking RCEP
Thailand will push to enter more free trade agreements after the country and other 14 nations signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) last week, said Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
He added that Thailand must take the route of multilateral trade since it was a focus of US president-elect Joe Biden.
After eight years of negotiating, the 10 Asean countries plus Asia Pacific nations China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand inked the RCEP deal at the 4th RCEP summit on Sunday. The new trading bloc accounts for about 30 per cent of global GDP and about 30 per cent of the world’s population.
Meanwhile a House of Representatives committee has completed its study on the pros and cons of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Don said. This and a similar study by the Commerce Ministry will now be submitted to Cabinet.
The CPTPP free trade agreement currently involves 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
If the Cabinet gives the go-ahead, Thailand will begin talks with each of the existing members and announce its intention to join the pact at the CPTPP annual meeting in August.
Don said existing members were open to Thailand joining the pact.
He added that CPTPP members were ready to hold a special meeting in June for Thailand to declare its intention to join.