Thailand

FTAs became a big social and political issue in Thailand ever since former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra agreed, in 2003, to negotiate a comprehensive bilateral deal with the United States. A broad multisectoral coalition in Thailand, called FTA Watch, monitors and mobilises around Thailand’s FTA policies quite frequently, given the deep-cutting and far-reaching nature of these deals for Thai society.

Apart from the Thai-US talks, Thailand has signed a limited FTA with Laos (1991) and another with China (agriculture only, 2003), framework agreements with Bahrain (as stepping stone toward an FTA with the GCC, 2002), Peru (2003) and India (2003), and fairly comprehensive FTAs with Australia (2003), New Zealand (2005) and Japan (2007).

Since 2006 and the current political crisis, Thailand’s pace of FTA negotiations has slowed down. (The government is technically still in negotiation with the US, EFTA, India, Peru and Papua New Guinea, while there has been talk of further deals with Chile, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada.) Meanwhile, civil society groups have insisted that the new Thai constitution include a provision, in Section 190, that requires Parliamentary ratification and much more public information about all FTAs that the Thai cabinet considers going into.

Regionally, Thailand is member of ASEAN and therefore part of that bloc’s FTA dealings with China, Korea, India, Australia/New Zealand and the EU. It is also part of BIMSTEC and, under Thaksin at least, was the protagonist pushing for greater trade and investment integration in the Mekong region under ACMECS, a framework for cooperation between Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

last update: May 2012

Articles

 EN   ES   FR 

  • 23-Jul-2015 EurActiv Thai seafood products could be banned, warns MEP
    A prominent lawmaker from the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries told EurActiv he would support giving a “red card” to Thailand, meaning banning the import of its fisheries products, if illegal fishing isn’t curbed, and if the practice of using slave labour is not abandoned.
  • 16-Jul-2015 Bangkok Post Thailand to pursue free-trade zone with Russia’s EEU
    Thailand plans to apply for membership in the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and launch a free-trade zone by year-end, a media report said.
  • 7-Jul-2015 WHO warns govt about risks of FTAs
    Experts say the government should carefully consider before signing free-trade agreements (FTA) - as people could be hurt by deals that prolong drug patents and restrict information about medicine.
  • 3-Jul-2015 PTI India, Thailand still disagree on FTA details: Thai official
    The much-awaited Free Trade Agreement between India and Thailand has hit a slight bump as the two sides still disagree on key details, according to a senior Thai official.
  • 18-Jun-2015 Plan to seek higher farm crops quota
    Thailand and Japan have agreed to talk further at an official level before formally revising the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement on the 10th anniversary of the pact, which came into effect in November 2007.
  • 6-Mar-2015 The Nation European body seeks changes to trade-related regulations
    The European Association for Business and Commerce has urged Thailand to revise trade-related regulations
  • 4-Mar-2015 Bangkok Post Thailand must stand firm in trade deal talks
    The investment chapter under the proposed TPP and the Thailand-EU FTA, if adopted, might place Thailand’s substantive ability to protect public interests at risk, warns Jakkrit Kuanpoth.
  • 26-Dec-2014 ASEAN Briefing Thailand’s European tariff privileges withdrawn
    The European Union’s generalized scheme of preferences (GSP) will be withdrawn from over 6,200 Thai products on 1 January, 2015.
  • 4-Nov-2014 The Nation Protecting Thailand from the hazards of international arbitration
    The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has said Thailand is in urgent need of an arbitration law to facilitate settlements between Thai and foreign companies, so as to increase foreign investor confidence and prepare upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC) next year.
  • 22-Sep-2014 NNT Japanese Minister urges Thai to support ASEAN + 6 FTA
    Japan wants Thailand to support the RCEP negotiations and proposes the resumption of the Japan–Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) due to the changing political situations in the two countries.
  • 0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | ... | 150

    Links

  • FTA Watch (Thailand)
    A broad social coalition monitoring, analysing and mobilising around the Thai government’s FTA strategies.
  • Thai FTA
    A Thai government website, produced by the Department of Trade Negotiations, on Thailand’s different FTA negotiations.